PAK-TAJIK PRESIDENTS AGREE TO REVIVE AIR LINKS,EARLY IMPLEMENTATION OF CASA-1000 & 500 MILLION DOLLAR TRADE

Founder Editor Tazeen Akhtar..
DUSHANBE, June 19 (Monitoring Desk+APP):Pakistan and Tajikistan Tuesday agreed to further strengthen their relations by adopting measures to take bilateral trade to US $ 500 million per annum, immediate revival of air links and early implementation of CASA-1000 (Central Asia South Asia) electricity project.
The two sides reached this agreement during talks between President Mamnoon Hussain and President Emomali Rahmon of Tajikistan held here at the State Guest House.
 
President Mamnoon Hussain, who was in Dushanbe on a four-day official visit on the invitation of his Tajik counterpart, held one-on-one and delegation level talks with President Emomali Rahmon.
 
During the talks, the two sides agreed to further strengthen their relations and giving “new impetus” to the ties through enhanced cooperation in diverse areas, including trade, energy, connectivity, defence, health, education and culture.
 
President Mamnoon Hussain and President Emomali Rahmon later at a joint press stake-out expressed their satisfaction and were confident about the positive and mutually beneficial outcome of the talks.
 
President Mamnoon said since Pakistan and Tajikistan enjoyed historical, cultural and fraternal bonds, their relations had been further strengthened by closer cooperation and regular exchange of high level visits since the latter’s independence in 1991. Pakistan was among the very first countries to recognize Tajikistan’s independence and establish diplomatic relations, he added.
 
The President felicitated his Tajik counterpart and the Government of Tajikistan for the initiative to host the International High-Level Conference on International Decade for Action, ‘Water for Sustainable Development,’ 2018-2028.
 
“Both our brotherly countries enjoy excellent cooperation at multilateral fora, including the UN, OIC, ECO, and SCO. Pakistan’s full membership in the SCO last year has opened new avenues for increased cooperation between our two countries,” he added.
 
The President said he and his Tajik counterpart today discussed and reviewed the whole spectrum of bilateral cooperation, particularly in the areas of energy, connectivity, trade, and security and defence.
 
“We also discussed important regional and international issues of mutual concern. We have agreed that there is vast potential for cooperation in all areas of our mutual interest,” he added.
 
President Mamnoon said the two sides noted with satisfaction that the decisions taken at the 5thJoint Ministerial Commission (JMC) meeting held in June 2016 were being implemented.
 
The decisions also included the formation of four joint working groups to foster increased collaboration in areas of energy, trade, investment, transport, agriculture, industry and science and technology, he added.
 
The President said the joint working groups on trade, investment and transport, and oil and gas had held meetings and come up with concrete proposals to increase cooperation in the relevant areas.
 
Both the sides were working on those proposals, he said and added that the dates for the meetings of other joint working groups, which would meet soon, were being worked out.
 
The President said he looked forward to Tajikistan’s formal accession to the Quadrilateral Agreement on Traffic in Transit (QTTA) with Pakistan, China, Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan. This agreement would provide a legal framework for Tajikistan to utilize our land routes for use of our seaports, he added.
 
He said Pakistan, like Tajikistan, attached great importance to the early completion of CASA-1000 power project. “We have, therefore, resolved to take all necessary measures to ensure the project’s completion as soon as possible,” he added.
 
He said the two sides also discussed the road, rail and cir connectivity, which was crucial to regional integration and promotion of bilateral trade, tourism and people-to-people contacts. “We have, therefore, resolved to multiply our efforts to increase connectivity between our two countries and work towards resumption of air flights between the two countries,” he added.