Tajikistan proposes ‘trade corridor’ to access Pakistan’s Gwadar, Karachi ports

F.P. Report

ISLAMABAD: Tajikistan’s President Emomali Rahmon on Wednesday expressed his country’s interest to access Pakistan’s Gwadar and Karachi seaports as the ‘shortest trade route’ for the landlocked Central Asian state to connect with the region.

The Tajik president, in this regard, supported establishment of a ‘trade corridor’ passing through Pakistan, as he addressed at a joint press stakeout along with Prime Minister Imran Khan here at the Prime Minister House.

The two leaders, who earlier held wide-ranging discussions on diverse areas of cooperation, expressed willingness to further strengthen the bilateral multifaceted ties.

President Emomali Rah-mon stressed “full-fledged cooperation” between Tajikistan and Pakistan to manage energy and water resources and also tapping the potential of Central Asia-South Asia (CASA-1000) power project.

President Rahmon termed Pakistan a “reliable and trustworthy partner” of Tajikistan at international stage, where the two countries had similarity of agenda to pursue a mutually beneficial cooperation.

He mentioned that his talks with PM Imran Khan was focused on inter-governmental cooperation in the fields of economy, parliaments, energy, agriculture, healthcare and COVID-19 situation.

Prime Minister Imran Khan welcomed President Emomali Rahmon and mentioned the positive discussions held with him in areas of trade, defence production, climate change and common challenges including post-troops withdrawal scenario in Afghanistan. The prime minister expressed confidence that the agreements and memorandums of understanding (MoUs) signed during the visit of Tajik president would lead to stronger relationship between the two countries.

Imran Khan said Pakistan’s strategic location offered the neighbouring countries a great opportunity for trade, however, such an arrangement with India was not possible till the latter reversed the unilateral act of August 5, 2019 of revoking the special status of Jammu and Kashmir.

“It will be a betrayal with the Kashmiris (from Pakistan),” he said, adding unless India took the first step to resolve the situation, the “matter of trade will remain a stalemate”.

Imran said in the realm of “common challenge” faced by Pakistan and Tajikistan, both sides agreed that peace in Afghanistan was a priority.

“If the US troops withdrawal from Afghanistan similar to what Russia did in 1989, we both are concerned about the security to our trade and connectivity,” he said. He said Pakistan and Tajikistan in their delegation-level talks held unanimity of views that a consensus political government in Afghanistan was vital for regional peace.
President Emomali said in the rapidly changing global situation, “Tajikistan and Pakistan needed strong cooperation in anti-terrorism, drug trafficking and organized crimes”.

Peace in Afghanistan, he said, was of “dire importance” for the immediate neighbours such as Tajikistan and Pakistan.

Both the leaders expressed concern over the rising trend of Islamophobia in the world and called for a joint action by the Muslim countries and organizations, including the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC).

Prime Minister Imran Khan welcomed Tajikistan for declaring 2025 as ‘Year of Preservation of Glaciers’, saying “Pakistan will fully back the initiative” as the country faced fast melting of its glaciers – the main resource of clean water.

Addressing an event at Presidency, the distinguished guest Tajik President said his country wants to promote land linkages with Pakistan for regional development and prosperity.

He said that agreements signed with Pakistan will take the relationship to new heights. He said his visit to Pakistan will give a new impetus to relations between the two countries.

The Tajik President said his country considers Pakistan as a brotherly and a reliable partner. He also invited Dr Arif Alvi to visit Tajikistan.

PAF’ No. 18 Squadron presents ceremonial escort to Tajik President: As a gesture of hospitality and brotherhood, a contingent of JF-17 Thunder aircraft from No.18 Squadron of Pakistan Air Force, presented ceremonial air escort to the President of the Republic of Tajikistan, Emomali Rahmon as his aircraft entered the Pakistani Air Space.

JF-17 formation leader extended greetings to the President of Tajikistan Emomali Rahmon who reciprocated the gesture by thanking the JF-17 formation leader, said a PAF media release.