Tajikistan, Pakistan vow to explore and establish transit and transportation corridors
DUSHANBE, March 26, 2012, Asia-Plus – On Saturday March 24, Tajik President Emomali Rahmon held talks here with Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari to further bolster bilateral relations.
The two leaders reportedly discuss ways and means to further enhance bilateral, political, economic, defense and security relations. They also reflected upon the development of rail and road infrastructure and air connectivity between the two countries.
President Asif Ali Zardari said that in the post 2014 geo-strategic scenario after drawdown of foreign forces from Afghanistan it was important that Pakistan and Tajikistan developed closer cooperation in all fields, particularly in the areas of defense, security and intelligence and proposed that the interior ministers should meet regularly and more often for this purpose.
The two leaders also vowed to explore and establish transit and transportation corridors, including direct air flights to link the two countries.
According to The Lahore Times, during the bilateral talks President Zardari was assisted by Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi, Interior Minister Rehman Malik, Commerce Minister Makhdoom Amin Fahim, Minister for Industries and Production Mian Manzoor Ahmad Watoo, Spokesman to the President former Senator Farhatullah Babar and senior officials.
President Rahmon and President Zardari also reportedly stressed the importance of having greater interaction between the private sectors of the two countries. Pakistani president, in particular, said that Tajikistan has rich natural resources and the two countries can gain a lot from increased cooperation.
President Rahmon had a joint press stakeout along with his Pakistani counterpart.
President Zardari termed terrorism and militancy as the biggest threat to the 21st century. “We stand together against this threat and have decided to cooperate in other areas as well,” President Zardari said.
He said the two countries have agreed to enhance cooperation in banking and transportation sectors, with the sole intention to bring the two people closer.
President Zardari said Tajikistan can make a use of Pakistan’s land routes and ports Pakistan, which will bring trade and economic benefit to the nations. President Zardari and Tajik President also had an exclusive meeting before the delegations of the two sides joined them at the bilateral talks.
The Lahore Times reports that a joint statement issued at the end of the talks said the two countries will take joint measures to realize full potential of their bilateral trade and economic relations on mutually beneficial projects.
The two countries also agreed on the need of expediting and establishing regional electricity networks. They stressed for early implementation of the CASA 1000 MW project.
The foreign ministers of two countries also signed two bilateral documents including a Protocol on exchange of Instruments of Ratification of Agreement between Pakistan and Tajikistan on the Promotion and Protection of Investments; and an agreement for cooperation – in different areas of bilateral interest – between their ministries of foreign affairs for the years 2009-2012. The Presidents of Tajikistan and Pakistan witnessed the signing of bilateral documents.
According to Pakistani media sources, separately the two sides also signed a framework cooperation agreement between the Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry and Tajikistan Chamber of Commerce and Industry for strengthening bilateral cooperation between the private sectors of the two countries.
The two countries extended their support to the government of Afghanistan to achieve peace and solid stability in the country, to improve economic and social conditions and to establish an independent and democratic society that embodies the interests of the people.
They called upon the international community and international financial institutions to channel all assistance directly through the Government of Afghanistan, on projects identified by Afghan authorities.
During his stay in Dushanbe, President Zardari also held talks with the Chairman of the Upper House (Majlisi Milli) of Tajik Parliament Mahmadsaid Ubayduloyev and Prime Minister of Tajikistan Oqil Oqilov.
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