Pakistan, Turkmenistan for collective efforts to counter extremism, terrorism

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan: Pakistan and Turkmenistan on Wednesday said the threat of extremism and terrorism need to be countered collectively to ensure peace and stability in the region.

President of Turkmenistan, Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov and Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif after holding a round of delegation level talks told the media persons that the two countries share similar views on important issues.

Prime Minister Sharif said Pakistan shares the concern that terrorism and extremism were the root cause of insecurity and instability in the region.

“This menace also undermines our endeavours for socio-economic development. We have to work collectively to eradicate the scourge of terrorism and extremism,” he told the reporters here at the PM House at a joint press stake out.

President of Turkmenistan Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov who arrived here earlier today is on a two-day visit to Pakistan on the invitation of Prime Minister, Muhammed Nawaz Sharif.

President Berdimuhamedov said both the countries were facing common challenges and “combating common threats is our goal.”

Prime Minister Sharif said both Pakistan and Turkmenistan have good coordination at international forums and would continue to work together for regional and international peace and security.

Prime Minister Sharif said it was his third meeting with the President of Turkmenistan in nine months and said it was reflective of the depth, warmth and cordiality between the two countries.

He said the deep seaports provide shortest route to the Arabian Sea to Turkmenistan and other Central Asian States.

“We will be happy to see our brothers in Central Asia use these facilities,” he said.

The Prime Minister said regional connectivity was an important pillar of Pakistan’s Vision 2025, aimed at making the country a hub of regional trade and commerce.

“We are closely working with Turkmenistan for improving infrastructure development for better regional connectivity,” he added.

He said it would be conducive to the promotion of economic relations, people to people contacts and tourism.

The Prime Minister mentioned the inking of the Joint Communique, agreements and Memorandums of Understanding and hoped these would further strengthen their friendly ties.

He expressed the hope that the Pakistan-Turkmenistan Business Forum would also facilitate bilateral trade and investment and said regular business-to-business contacts would further strengthen their economic ties.

Prime Minister Sharif termed the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) a “mega-energy cooperation project in the region.

He said it would greatly help Pakistan in mitigating the shortage of natural gas in Pakistan.

He recalled his participation in the “well-managed and impressive” ground breaking ceremony in December last year and said with the Turkmen gas, the energy starved industry would be running at its full potential.

President Berdimuhamedov said the early completion of the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India gas pipeline project would not only solidify the relations between all the participating countries, but also create new opportunities.

“The gas line would bring warmth and cordiality, and generate economic activity, create job opportunities and improve the living standards,” President Berdimuhamedov said.

He said the TAPI had had a great impetus to boost socio-economic cooperation and hoped the project would soon be implemented.

He said the two countries also had great cooperation in culture, science and education, relations dating back to centuries, and a desire to reach out to the people in neighbouring countries.

Prime Minister Sharif recalled the inking of the MoU with Turkmenistan and Afghanistan for import of 1000 MW of electricity from Turkmenistan and said it would help the country reduce its energy deficit.

“We have agreed that the work on this important project should be undertaken on a fast track,” he added.

Prime Minister Sharif said the regional energy projects would facilitate regional connectivity and contribute to peace, stability and security by creating interdependence in the region.

President Berdimuhamedov said the talks between the two sides also focused on cooperation in these vital areas.

He hoped his ongoing visit to Pakistan would prove to be very beneficial and open new vistas of cooperation between them.

The President of Turkmenistan concluded his remarks with a wish for peace, progress and prosperity of Pakistan.

President Berdimuhamedov expressed gratitude to the Prime Minister, the people and government of Pakistan for the warm hospitality and hoped his visit would further strengthen the “friendly and brotherly ties” between the two countries.

He said the agreements inked today between Pakistan and Turkmenistan would further boost their bilateral ties.

He said his government and people closely monitor every achievement of Pakistan and sincerely wished it success and prosperity.

Those present on the occasion included Minister for Finance Ishaq Dar Minister for Water and Power Khwaja Asif, Commerce Minister Engineer Khurram Dastgir, Petroleum Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, PM’s Special Assistant on Foreign Affairs Tariq Fatemi, National Security Advisor Nasser Khan Janjua and Ambassador to Turkmenistan Dr Abdul Malik.

The Turkmen side included Foreign Minister Rashid Meredov, Deputy Chairman of the cabinet of ministers Yagshigeldi Kakayev and Minister of Finance Muhammetguly Muhammedov.

Source: APP