DUSHANBE, Tajikistan: With a focus on regional connectivity, trade and energy, Pakistan and Tajikistan Wednesday agreed on exploring new avenues of cooperation by increasing collaborating in economy, defence and security, agriculture and education.
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, who is in Dushanbe on a two-day official visit, along with Tajik President Emomali Rahmon inked the Joint Declaration aimed at enhancing regional connectivity between the two countries and the region at large.
The two leaders emphasized close collaboration between Pakistan and Tajikistan both at the government and people level, besides giving a further boost to their bilateral relations.
The two leaders also witnessed inking of Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on trade cooperation.
The Minister for Commerce Ghulam Dastgir Khan signed the MoU on trade cooperation along with the Tajik Minister of Economy NaimatUllah Hikmatullah Zada.
The MoU on cooperation between University of Arif Agriculture, Rawalpindi and Agriculture University, Dushanbe was signed by its Rector NaimatUllah Faiz ullah and Advisor to Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz.
In his statement to the press at the conclusion of his one-on-one and delegation-level talks with President Emomali, the prime minister said he was impressed by the “remarkable political stability, social cohesion and impressive economic progress” of Tajikistan.
The prime minister said the two sides discussed the importance of road, rail and air connectivity and said it was vital for regional integration, promotion of bilateral trade, tourism, people to people contacts.
“We have therefore resolved to multiply our efforts to increase connectivity between our two countries,” he said.
Nawaz Sharif said his visit had provided an opportunity to translate their close political ties into strategic cooperation in all spheres particularly economy, trade, investment energy and defense.
During the talks, the two sides also agreed to continue cooperation in international fora including the United Nations, Shanghai Cooperation Organization, Organization of Islamic Cooperation and Economic Cooperation Organization.
Vowing joint steps against terrorism, the two sides agreed on holding first meeting of Pakistan Tajikistan Joint Working Group on countering international terrorism.
The prime minister said the two sides also identified the need for increased cooperation in agriculture, industry, education and culture. He said Pakistan views with admiration the laudable socio-economic development and progress achieved under President Rahmon’s leadership.
Sharif recalled that it was his fourth visit since June 2014 while President Rahmon made two visits to Pakistan. He said frequent high level visits were reflective of importance the two countries attach to their relationship.
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said Islamabad attaches great importance to its relations with Central Asian countries, particularly Tajikistan. Both leaders agreed that connectivity holds key to regional integration.
The two leaders expressed satisfaction on the progress achieved so far in the economic sphere particularly with regard to CASA-1000 Project and hoped it would soon move into the construction phase. The Prime Minister stressed the need for further enhancing trade, energy and defense cooperation.
Nawaz Sharif referred to the bilateral trade between Pakistan and Tajikistan and said as agreed in 2014, the two countries need to take measures to boost it to us $500 million in the next three years.