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Gwader Port shortest way for Tajikistan to reach world markets, says Tajik Ambassador

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Gwader Port is shortest and cheapest way for Tajikistan to reach world markets, says Tajik Ambassador Sherali Saidamir Jononove

Ambassador of Tajikistan in Islamabad Sherali Saidamir Jononove

By Agha Iqrar Haroon

Islamabad, Pakistan: “Without any doubt CPEC and Gwader Port are shortest and cheapest ways for Tajikistan to reach world markets and Prime Minister Pakistan Mian Nawaz Sharif emphasized during his meeting with Tajik President Emomali Rahmon that Gwadar Port is for everybody in the region”.

This was stated by the Ambassador of Tajikistan in Islamabad Sherali Saidamir Jononove during an exclusive interview given to the Dispatch News Desk (DND) news agency in Islamabad.

The Ambassador Sherali Saidamir Jononove added that the Prime Minister of Pakistan Mian Nawaz Sharif will attend groundbreaking ceremony of CASA-1000 project on May 12, 2016 in Dushanbe and this project will help Pakistan to overcome its energy crises.

Responding to a question, he maintained that Tajikistan would become only country to connect Central Asia with Pakistan through air flights as Tajikistan will start flight operations of Lahore-Dushanbe flight from May 6, 2016. He said tourism is the key to connect people and enhance understanding among them. He was optimistic that tourism, trade and social interaction between Pakistan and Tajikistan will enhance in forthcoming years.

Sherali Saidamir Jononove
Ambassador of Tajikistan in Islamabad Sherali Saidamir Jononove giving interview to Chief Editor Dispatch News Desk (DND) news agency

Responding to another question about CASA-1000 project, Ambassador Sherali Saidamir Jononove stated that Tajikistan would export 1000 MW hydel electricity to Pakistan under CASA-1000 project through a 750 kilometre long line of 500 KV that would also be utilised for transmitting around 300 MW hydel electricity to Pakistan from Kyrgyzstan. He added that Tajikistan has usually 18 billion KV surplus so it would be a great opportunity for Pakistan to overcome its energy crises as Tajikistan can export more than 5000 MW electricity to Pakistan in future.

Giving details about CASA-1000 ceremony, he said that there would be three events including Consultative Meeting of energy ministers of the both countries that would be attended by Federal Minister Khawaja Asif on May 11 while this meeting will be followed by a Regional Cooperation Conference on same evening. He added that groundbreaking will be held on May 12 where the chief guest would be Prime Minister of Pakistan Mian Nawaz Sharif.

casa-1000When asked about the fate of project as CASA-1000 transmission lines would come from those areas of Afghanistan where security situation is critical, Ambassador Sherali Saidamir Jononove stated that Afghanistan has given sovereign guarantee to all partners to protect the line and takes responsibility of security of the project. He added that Afghanistan is a sovereign country and it will be its responsibility to protect this project. He maintained that two lines coming from Tajikistan are already providing electricity to Afghanistan for the last 18 years without interruption therefore one should believe that CASA-1000 transmission line would be out of dangers.

Talking about capacity of export of hydel electricity of Tajikistan, Ambassador Sherali Saidamir Jononove said that only Tajikistan could export more than 5000 MW electricity to Pakistan through hydel projects especially in the summer season. He was of the view that CASA-1000 hydel project would be cleaner and cheapest way to overcome energy crises in Pakistan.

Responding to a question regarding interest of Tajikistan to use Gwadar Port for its trade and business activities, Ambassador Sherali Saidamir Jononove stated that Tajikistan is using Balkan ports for its cargo while Gwadar Port will be shortest possible way to reach the world markets for Tajikistan.

When indicated that Tajikistan was using North South Corridor that connects Tajikistan via Turkmenistan to Iranian port of Chabahar, Ambassador Sherali Saidamir maintained that Gwadar port will be shortest way to reach sea through China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) road network, and goods, which are coming or going in seven days through North South Corridor, would be transported only in two to three days through CPEC road network and Gwadar Port. “Gwader Port is shortest and cheapest way for our products to go to world market”, he added.

When asked about trade relations between the two countries, he cited that President of Tajikistan Emomali Rahmon and Prime Minister of Pakistan Mian Nawaz Sharif during their last meeting had decided to increase bilateral trade to over half a billion $ between the two countries therefore officials of both countries are working to find every possible way to enhance trade within shortest possible span of time and both countries are engaged in showcasing their products through exhibitions and trade festivals. He added that there were two trade exhibitions in Dushanbe for Pakistani traders and businessmen within last three months and another trade festival will be held in May 2016.

He said that Pakistan was producing best surgical tools, sports goods and leather products but businessmen of Tajikistan had less knowledge about potential of bilateral trade with Pakistan. He stated that constant exhibitions and trade festivals are helping business communities of both the countries to understand potentials and possibilities of smooth trade between Pakistan and Tajikistan.

He was of the view that trade cannot be enhanced without people to people contact therefore both the countries have decided to enhance contact in cultural, tourism and social sectors.

When he was asked that how could people to people contact could be enhanced without direct land or air contact between the two countries, he disclosed that Lahore-Dushanbe regular flights will be operational from May 6, 2016 and Tajikistan would be only country that would connect Pakistan with Central Asia through regular passenger as well as cargo flights.

“People of Pakistan and Tajikistan can do a lot of business and can become further closer if they have opportunities for constant interaction. Reason for lesser contact among people is gap of communication and this gap is being covered by initiatives taken by the governments of Pakistan and Tajikistan like opening flights and setting up trade festivals”, he commented.

He appreciated Chamber of Commerce of Rawalpindi for organizing trade exhibition in Dushanbe. He added that this trade exhibition between the two countries was first after a pause of around 12 years.

He stated that he is in contact with almost every ministry of Pakistan that can help to enhance bilateral trade and people to people contact and said that he discussed with all ministries how to do business in our region.

When asked that vision he had for Pak-Tajik relations in next decade, he said:

“We have extraordinary good relations thanks to our leaders. We are only 14 km away from Pakistan. Pakistan is an important strategic geopolitical partner of Tajikistan and Pakistan will become one of the 10 strongest nations in the world soon. If we continue to work with the same pace we are doing today, I am pragmatic that Pak-Tajik friendly relations will be an example for others in the region.”

 

Central Desk
Central News Desk.

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