PM Shehbaz invites Tajikistan to avail Pakistan seaports for transit trade

Published July 3, 2024
Prime Minister of Tajikistan Kokhir Rasulzoda called on Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif in Dushanbe on July 3, 2024. — PID
Prime Minister of Tajikistan Kokhir Rasulzoda called on Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif in Dushanbe on July 3, 2024. — PID

Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has invited Tajikistan to “avail the facilities of Pakistani seaports” for transit trade, a joint statement issued by the two countries said on Wednesday, as the premier concluded his two-day official visit to the Central Asian country.

The PM’s official visit commenced at the invitation of the Tajik president, Emomali Rahmon. During the visit, the two sides held meetings, signed several memoranda of understanding (MoUs), and expressed satisfaction over the “steadily expanding bilateral cooperation” in all areas of mutual interest.

“The prime minister informed the Tajik president about the operationalisation of Gwadar seaport and offered Tajikistan the opportunity to avail the facilities of Pakistani seaports,” the joint statement said.

“It was highlighted that the Pakistani seaports offer the most efficient, shortest, and economic route for the Central Asian countries including Tajikistan to the markets in the Middle East and beyond”.

Both leaders also signed the Strategic Partnership Agreement between the two nations, the joint statement highlighted, calling it a “true reflection of growing mutual trust and partnership” that would “pave a new way for further enhancement of bilateral cooperation”.

The two sides also noted the progress in operationalising the Agreement on Transit Trade which was signed during the visit of the Tajik president to Pakistan in December 2022.

The joint statement said that while noting the current level of bilateral trade, it was underlined that there was a “vast potential that needs to be tapped through mutual efforts”.

To enhance trade ties, the two sides also agreed to explore the provision of preferential market access for each other’s goods, including through negotiations of a Preferential Trade Agreement (PTA), the statement highlighted.

It stated that President Rahmon welcomed Pakistani entrepreneurs and the business community to contribute to the countries’ bilateral economic ties by investing in free economic zones of Tajikistan.

Underlining the importance of a reliable electricity supply for sustainable economic growth, the two sides reaffirmed their commitment to early completion“ of the Casa-1000 power transmission line.

Pakistan and Tajikistan leaders also touched upon regional security issues, condemning terrorism “in all its forms and manifestations”.

According to the statement, both nations emphasised the need to enhance ongoing cooperation — at the bilateral level as well as within international and regional organisations — in counterterrorism, combating transnational organised crimes and human and drug trafficking.

“​On Afghanistan, the two sides agreed that a peaceful, prosperous, interconnected and stable Afghanistan is fundamental to regional prosperity and progress,” the statement said, stressing the need for an “inclusive government” in Kabul.

The two sides also discussed the “existential threat” of climate change, the “rise of Islamophobia worldwide” and the “promotion of people-to-people linkages” by recognising literary figures and enhancing educational cooperation.

Thanking Rahmon for his “heartfelt and warm hospitality”, PM Shehba invited him to visit Pakistan at a convenient time, the statement noted.

Shehbaz meets Tajik counterpart

Earlier today, PM Shehbaz met his Tajik counterpart Kokhir Rasulzoda, Radio Pakistan reported.

During the meeting, the premier emphasised that Pakistan would continue to pursue enhanced cooperation with Central Asian countries, including Tajikistan, as part of its ‘Vision Central Asia’ policy.

The prime minister described the signing of the Strategic Partnership Agreement as a historic milestone in bilateral relations, expressing hopes that it would lead to new areas of mutual economic cooperation.

PM Shehbaz also stressed that enhanced regional connectivity and integration would remain key components for sustainable long-term socio-economic development of the region.

Emphasising the importance of regional ties in the South and Central Asian region, the prime minister suggested that Pakistan host a regional connectivity summit to provide trade corridors to Central Asian countries and promote regional trade.

Following last week’s successful first flight from Tajikistan to Islamabad, PM Shehbaz called for increasing the number of such flights.

He also reiterated the need for enhanced cooperation in culture, education, sports, and people-to-people contacts.

Opinion

On writing

On writing

There is no ceremony or ritual that marks any person as a writer except the simple yet unimaginably significant act of starting to write.

Editorial

A way forward
Updated 17 Jul, 2024

A way forward

Before political leaders inflict more damage, they must give talks a chance.
Export delusions
Updated 18 Jul, 2024

Export delusions

Plummeting exports as a ratio of GDP is one of the major reasons driving the current economic slowdown and the balance-of-payments crisis.
Diversity in UK politics
17 Jul, 2024

Diversity in UK politics

THE recent UK elections have ushered in the most diverse parliament in the nation’s history. Under the leadership...
Banning PTI
Updated 16 Jul, 2024

Banning PTI

It appears that the govt and its backers within the establishment have still not realised that they are in uncharted territory.
Nato at 75
16 Jul, 2024

Nato at 75

EMERGING from the ashes of World War II, and locked in confrontation with the Soviet-led Communist bloc for over ...
Non-stop massacres
16 Jul, 2024

Non-stop massacres

Netanyahu is cunningly pretending to talk peace while mercilessly pounding Gaza. What is clear is that a return to pre-Oct 7 status quo is impossible.