Peace in Afghanistan imperative for trade, connectivity with Tajikistan: PM Imran

Peace in Afghanistan imperative for trade, connectivity with Tajikistan: PM Imran

Islamabad (Web Desk): Prime Minister Imran Khan on Wednesday said that peace in Afghanistan is imperative for bilateral ties between Pakistan and Tajikistan.

Addressing a joint press conference with Tajik President Emomali Rahmon after one-on-one meeting and a ceremony where various memorandums of understanding (MOUs) were signed, the premier said that the two countries have agreed to further deepen bilateral relations in diverse fields with special focus on promoting trade and economic linkages.

He was confident that the MOUs and the agreements signed with Tajikistan will also go a long way in strengthening relations in the areas of education, defense, culture and art.

Imran Khan however noted that political settlement in Afghanistan after the US withdrawal is of vital importance both for Pakistan and Tajikistan to promote their trade and connectivity.

He said there is a need of such a consensus government in Afghanistan which saves the country from plunging into anarchy.

The prime minister said Pakistan and Tajikistan are also faced with the challenge of climate change and both sides have agreed to collectively raise their voice on the matter.

He said Pakistan backs Tajik proposal of declaring 2025 the International Year of Glacier Protection.

Alluding to the situation in Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK), PM Imran said relations with India cannot normalise until it reverses controversial steps of 5th August 2019.

In his remarks, Tajik President Emomali Rahmon said that his country considers Pakistan as a reliable and trustworthy partner at the international stage.

Noting satisfaction over the high level exchanges between the two countries, the Tajik president said we have also highlighted significant role of Joint Inter governmental commission on trade, economic, scientific and technical cooperation.

He said that the two sides have agreed to resume business council as well as the joint working groups on energy and infrastructure as soon as the situation improves after Covid-19.

President Rahmon expressed his country's special interest in continuing fruitful cooperation of the two countries in implementation of energy related projects including CASA 1000.

The Tajik president also expressed his country's interest in joining regional transport corridor projects. He said we have also discussed Tajikistan's access to Karachi and Gwadar seaports.

He said that the cooperation between the two countries in agriculture and food security will also help supply the region organic agriculture products.

President Rahmon reaffirmed his country's unwavering support to Pakistan's continuous efforts in ensuring peace in the region and countering the international terrorism.

The Tajik president and the Prime Minister also signed a joint declaration on next steps in building strategic partnership for regional solidarity and integration.

Earlier, formal welcome ceremony in honour of President Rahmon was held at the PM House in Islamabad where Prime Minister Imran Khan received the visiting head of state.

A smartly turned out contingent of the armed forces presented a guard of honour to the Tajik president and national anthems of both countries were also played on the occasion.