Tajik president, Pakistani PM discuss ways to further strengthen bilateral relations

13/11/2015 10:31
Asia-Plus
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DUSHANBE, November 13, 2015, Asia-Plus – Tajik President Emomali Rahmon yesterday met in Islamabad with Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to discuss ways to further strengthen bilateral relations between Tajikistan and Pakistan, particularly in the areas of trade, energy, and connectivity.

According to the Tajik president’s official website, the two leaders discussed issues related to strengthening ties between the two countries in areas of trade, energy, communication, security and defense, and people-to-people contacts.

Meanwhile, Pakistani media report PM Sharif said that Pakistan attaches great importance to its relations with Central Asia, particularly Tajikistan, which is geographically closest to Pakistan among all Central Asian states.

Stressing for the establishment of air links between Pakistan and Tajikistan on priority basis, he said that connectivity holds key to regional integration.

The prime minister said that relations with Central Asia are based on cultural and religious affinity dating back centuries and added that Pakistan wished to transform these fraternal ties into a strong economic partnership.

The prime minister reportedly expressed satisfaction that bilateral trade between Pakistan and Tajikistan had steadily risen to US$15 million in 2011 to US$89 million in 2014.

He called for working arduously to achieve the target of US$500 million that had been agreed to achieve in three years in 2014.

On stronger connectivity, the prime minister said the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) would provide new opportunities for enhanced connectivity and integration from Gwadar to Kashgar.

It will also provide a road link with Tajikistan through Murgab (the Gorno Badakhshan Autonomous Region in Tajikistan) and other Central Asian states, he said.

PM Sharif said Pakistan was keen for implementation of CASA 1000 (Central Asia South Asia) project and expressed hope that the project would be completed by 2018.

Pakistan, he said, attaches great importance to security cooperation with Tajikistan and proposed to share the experiences on counter terrorism anti narcotics controlling human trafficking and best border control practices.

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