Islamabad, June 18, 2014 (PPI-OT): The Prime Minister of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, His Excellency Mr. Muhammad Nawaz Sharif, paid an official visit to the Republic of Tajikistan from 17-18 June 2014, at the invitation of the President of the Republic of Tajikistan, His Excellency Mr. Emomali Rahmon. The visit was a part of regular high-level exchanges between the two fraternal countries.
The Prime Minister was accompanied by a high-level delegation comprising, the Minister for Water and Power, Minister for Textile Industry, Special Assistant to The Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs, and senior officials. The Prime Minister and the accompanying entourage were accorded a warm and cordial welcome.
The Prime Minister and the President had a tete-a-tete, which was followed by delegation-level talks. Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif also had separate meeting with the Prime Minister of Tajikistan.
During their wide-ranging consultations, President Emomali Rahmon and Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif underscored the historical bonds between the two countries, rooted deep in common faith, cultural affinities and civilizational links.
The two leaders affirmed their shared commitment to peace, stability and progress and underlined their vision of a strategic Pakistan-Tajikistan relationship serving the cause of peace and development in the region and beyond.
The two leaders expressed satisfaction over the development of bilateral relations and noted that a vast potential existed for further expansion in trade and investments, energy, defence and security cooperation, education and cultural collaboration, and people-to-people contacts. They underscored their resolve to realize this potential through concerted efforts.
The leaders agreed to set a target of expanding bilateral trade to US $ 500 million over the next three years and to work for a Preferential Trade Agreement (PTA). They also agreed to reinforce economic cooperation through existing and new institutional frameworks.
The two sides highlighted the significant opportunities existing for mutual investments and agreed to take steps, through their respective investment promotion institutions, to ensure a favorable environment for investors from both countries.
To promote these objectives, it was decided to convene the 5th session of the Joint Ministerial Commission in Islamabad during 2014. To intensify collaboration between the private sectors of the two countries, it was agreed to establish a Joint Business Council (JBC).
The leaders laid a strong emphasis on enhanced connectivity by air, road and rail and on facilitating travel, transit, transportation and tourism. They mandated the Joint Ministerial Commission to make concrete recommendations in this regard.
The two sides underscored the need for strengthening transit and transportation facilities, including through enhanced cooperation at the regional level. In this context, it was noted that early finalization of the Trilateral Transit Trade Agreement among Afghanistan, Pakistan and Tajikistan would provide a boost to trade and economic relations.
It was further noted that direct road linkswould impart more impetus to these efforts. The Pakistan side also undertook to provide easy access to Tajik goods via its seaports at Karachi and Gwadar. The two leaders reaffirmed their commitment to the CASA-1000 power project and underlined the importance of its earliest realization.
Both sides emphasized the importance of parliamentary exchanges and welcomed, in this context, the recent visit to Tajikistan of the Speaker of the National Assembly of Pakistan. They agreed to exchange parliamentary delegations, on a regular basis. The two sides reaffirmed their desire to exchange cultural troupes regularly. It was agreed to further promote tourism and increase people-to-people exchanges.
Both sides denounced terrorism in all its forms and manifestations and reaffirmed their desire to strengthen mutual cooperation in combating terrorism, both at the bilateral level and within the UN system.
The two leaders affirmed their desire to increase bilateral security and defence cooperation. The Pakistan side committed to provide continued assistance in developing Tajikistan’s defence capability, including through training to the Tajik armed forces and security personnel.
The two leaders conferred on regional and international issues. They affirmed that a peaceful and stable Afghanistan would strengthen the prospects for regional peace and stability and expressed their support for an inclusive Afghan-led and Afghan-owned peace and reconciliation process. They also reiterated their commitment to utilize the Quadrilateral forums to reinforce efforts in support of peace, security and stability in the region.
The leaders highlighted close cooperation between the two countries within the framework of UN, OIC, ECO, SCO and other relevant international and regional organizations. They expressed the commitment to continue fruitful cooperation on mutual support in the elective bodies of international organizations.
In the presence of the two leaders, the following Agreement/MoUs were signed:
i. Agreement between the Governments of the Republic of Tajikistan and the Islamic Republic of Pakistan on Formation of a Joint Working Group Combating the International Terrorism;
ii. Memorandum of Understanding between the Government of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan through the Ministry of Textile Industry and the Government of the Republic of Tajikistan through the Ministry of Industries and New Technologies on Collaboration in Textiles Development;
iii. Memorandum of Understanding on Cooperation in the Field of Vocational Training between the Government of Islamic Republic of Pakistan and the Government of the Republic of Tajikistan;
iv. Memorandum of Understanding between the Department of Libraries, Capital Administration and Development Division, Government of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan and the National Library of Tajikistan; and
v. Memorandum of Understanding between Tajik National University, Dushanbe and National University of Modern Languages, Islamabad, Pakistan.
The Prime Minister of Pakistan expressed his deep gratitude for the gracious hospitality extended to him and the members of his delegation by the President of the Republic of Tajikistan. The Prime Minister extended an invitation to President Emomali Rahmon to pay a state visit to Pakistan, which was accepted. The dates for the visit will be determined through diplomatic channels.”
For more information, contact:
Mr. Aizaz Ahmad Ch
Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Government of Pakistan
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