Ambassador Faisal Tirmizi sees PM Imran Khan’s Bishkek visit as of great significance

BISHKEK, Kyrgyzstan: Pakistan’s Ambassador in Bishkek Faisal Niaz Tirmizi has said that Prime Minister Imran Khan’s visit to Kyrgyzstan will go a long way in improving the bilateral cooperation in diversified fields including trade and economy, the Dispatch News Desk (DND) news agency reported.

Prime Minister Imran Khan will reach Bishkek today (June 13, 2019) to attend the 19th Meeting of the Council of the Heads of State (CHS) of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO).

Talking to Independent Urdu, Ambassador Faisal Tirmizi said that it is the first visit by the prime minister to Central Asia since he took over in August last year; therefore, it is of high significance.

Ambassador Faisal Tirmizi said that during his stay in Bishkek, the prime minister will hold bilateral meetings with 11 other Heads of States and Heads of Governments. He said that after a long time, 12 Heads of States are attending an extremely important event.

Talking about the significance of the SCO, the ambassador said that it includes eight members including Pakistan, China, Russia, India, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and Tajikistan whereas its four observers are Afghanistan, Iran, Belarus and Mongolia.

The ambassador said that the SCO has a huge population in billions. He said that three-fourth of the SCO population is under the Eurasian landmass and its economy constitutes 27% of total global Gross National Product (GNP).

Turning towards SCO’s 19th Meeting, Faisal Tirmizi said that the Council of Heads of State is the highest forum of SCO which considers and defines strategy, prospects and priorities of the Organization.

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Ambassador Faisal Tirmizi said that with his participating in the SCO meeting, Prime Minister Imran Khan will present Pakistan’s view point on various regional and global issues to the World.

The envoy said that the prime minister has a vision of tourism, trade, openness, youth empowerment and connectivity; and through the SCO platform, Pakistan along with other member Countries can make joint efforts to excel in these sectors.

Ambassador Faisal Tirmizi also said that Kyrgyzstan is also interested to become part of China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). He said that Gwadar is the shortest way to reach international waters for whole Central Asia especially for Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan.

In reply to a question, Faisal Tirmizi said that Pakistan-Kyrgyzstan bilateral trade is of just US$ 5 billion but Prime Minister Imran Khan has intended to take it to US$ 20 billion in next two years.

Faisal Tirmizi said that Kyrgyzstan has been asked to set up pharmaceutical plants in its territory, wherein Pakistani Companies will also invest. He said that though Kyrgyzstan’s market consists of only six million people but it is the member of the Eurasian Economic Union (EUU) – which includes Russia, Belarus, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan and Armenia –  and its market is of almost 1,819 Crore which stretches till Poland, which is a member of the European Union (EU).

The ambassador said that in his meeting with the Kyrgyz President Sooronbay Jeenbekov, Prime Minister Imran Khan will himself extend an invitation to him for visiting Pakistan.

The envoy said that both Pakistan and Kyrgyzstan have very deep and historical relations. He said that Abu Mansur Sabuktigin, the father of Mahmood Ghazni, belonged to North Kyrgyzstan whereas the Mughal Emperor Zaheer-Ud-Din Babar was also from Osh, the South Kyrgyzstan.

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Therefore, he added that, it is a matter of great pleasure that the two Countries are getting closer to each other, and they are in pursuit to enhance their bilateral trade and social cooperation.

Furthermore, the ambassador told that a Gala Concert is also being organized in Bishkek, in which the famous Pakistani Balochi folk Akhtar Chanal Zehri will also perform.

To another question, Ambassador Faisal Tirmizi said that efforts are afoot to arrange Prime Minister Imran Khan’s sideline meetings with various Heads of States. However, he said that his meeting with the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi is not in the pipeline yet.