DUSHANBE:Pakistan and Tajikistan, building on the previous understandings and given the strong desire of two countries to further promote mutual cooperation in diverse areas, have decided to upgrade the bilateral relations to the level of a long-term strategic partnership.
The decision was taken during the two-day (September 15-17) official visit of Prime Minister Imran Khan to Tajikistan on the invitation of President Emomali Rahmon.
According to a joint statement on Friday issued at the conclusion of Imran Khan’s visit, the two leaders had wide-ranging deliberations covering all aspects of the mutually beneficial bilateral cooperation, and regional and international issues of common interest during the tete-a-tete and delegation-level talks.
Prime Minister Imran Khan also participated in the Jubilee Summit of the Council of Heads of State of Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) besides his official visit.
He commended President Emomali Rahmon for hosting the Jubilee Summit of the Council of Heads of State of SCO and other events in Dushanbe during the SCO Chairmanship of Republic of Tajikistan.
Both leaders agreed to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Pakistan and Tajikistan in 2022 in a befitting manner.
The two leaders expressed satisfaction over the growing mutually beneficial political, trade, economic, scientific, technical, and cultural cooperation between the two countries.
They underscored the importance of following Joint Statement/Declarations signed earlier: Joint Statement “Towards Strategic Partnership for Regional Solidarity” between the Republic of Tajikistan and the Islamic Republic of Pakistan signed on 5 July 2017; the Joint Declaration “Strengthening the Pathway to Strategic Partnership for Regional Solidarity” between the Republic of Tajikistan and the Islamic Republic of Pakistan signed on 19 June 2018; and the Joint Declaration on “Next Steps to Build Strategic Partnership for Regional Solidarity and Integration” of 2 June 2021.
They underscored that the strategic partnership aimed at ensuring the two countries’ security, mutual trust, countering the current global threats and challenges, enhancing regional stability, and expanding political, economic and humanitarian cooperation, would create a sustainable foundation for development of long-term relations between the Republic of Tajikistan and the Islamic Republic of Pakistan.
In this regard, the two leaders further agreed to work towards signing of a Strategic Partnership Agreement.
The two leaders accorded particular focus on further strengthening of reliable and constructive high-level contacts, inter-parliamentary ties, defence and security relations between the two countries.
They underscored the importance of expansion of mutually beneficial economic and trade cooperation, improvement of investment and trade environment between the two countries and mobilization of direct investments, creation of joint ventures, increasing the volume of bilateral trade and expansion of the list of commodities.
In this context, they highlighted the need to bolster the activities of the Intergovernmental Commission on Trade, Economic and Scientific-Technical Cooperation and decided to hold its next meeting in Islamabad in December 2021.
The two leaders agreed to regularly convene the meetings and follow up to the decisions of the permanent economic mechanisms for mutually beneficial cooperation, including the Joint Business Council of Tajikistan and Pakistan, and Joint Working Groups in multiple areas, in particular the Joint Working Group on Oil and Gas, Joint Working Group on Energy and Infrastructure, Joint Working Group on Education, Science and Technology and Joint Working Group on Tourism at the earliest.
The two leaders appreciated the fourth meeting of the Joint Business Council held on September 16, 2021 in Dushanbe.
They noted with satisfaction the organization of an exhibition of the Pakistani goods in Tajikistan and the regular holding of “Made in Pakistan” exhibition in Dushanbe.
In the energy sector, the two leaders noted the need to establish mutually beneficial cooperation in the implementation of energy projects, including the construction of hydropower plants and transmission lines with mutual investment.
They also reiterated their resolve for timely completion of the important “CASA-1000” power transmission project.
The parties expressed their readiness to expand cooperation in transport.
They agreed to strengthen mutually beneficial cooperation in transport infrastructure corridors for bilateral and transit trade between the two countries and creation of favorable conditions for the transportation of goods through the territory of respective countries.
They particularly noted the importance of construction of railways and highways from Tajikistan to Karachi and Gwadar seaports of Pakistan and the need for integration of Tajikistan with regional transport projects.
The two leaders stressed the importance of strengthening cooperation in industry. To this end, a proposal was made to establish Pakistani companies in the free economic zones of Tajikistan for the final processing of agricultural products, including cotton.
The two leaders attached particular attention to strengthening the scientific, technological, and cultural cooperation.
The parties noted the need to further expand cooperation in health, pharmaceutical, medical, natural disaster management and emergency sectors, including through joint ventures in Tajikistan and Pakistan.
The two leaders expressed satisfaction with the steady development of cooperation between Tajikistan and Pakistan in the fields of security and defense, and noted the importance of strengthening ties between the relevant authorities of the two countries.
The Tajikistan side also recognized the importance of Pakistan’s assistance in strengthening its military capacity.
The parties stressed the need for further expansion of cooperation in countering international terrorism, extremism, illegal migration, drug and psychotropic substance trafficking, transnational organized crime and other challenges at bilateral level as well as within the international and regional organizations.
The two leaders also exchanged views on regional and global issues of mutual interest and agreed to work together to strengthen peace, stability and security in the region, particularly in Afghanistan.
In this context, the parties stressed that the importance of stability and socio-economic revival of Afghanistan is crucial for peace and security in the region.
They reaffirmed the importance of implementation of regional and international infrastructure projects that would contribute to the sustainable development of the country.
The Prime Minister appreciated the valuable efforts of the Republic of Tajikistan for arranging the Ministerial Meeting of the “Heart of Asia – Istanbul Process” in Dushanbe on 29-30 March 2021 and holding the meeting of the SCO-Afghanistan Contact Group at Ministerial level on July 14, 2021.
The Republic of Tajikistan underscored the constructive role of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan in countering international terrorism in the region, and efforts to support peace and stability in Afghanistan.
The Tajik side appreciated Pakistan’s initiative of convening virtual Ministerial Conference of six Neighbouring Countries of Afghanistan on September 8, 2021.
The two leaders reaffirmed their determination to strengthen mutually beneficial cooperation at the global level and in the framework of the regional organizations, including the UN, OIC, SCO and ECO on all issues of mutual concern, including Islamophobia, interfaith harmony, sustainable development and climate change.
The two sides also welcomed and supported each other’s candidacy to the non-permanent membership of the UN Security Council for the term 2025-2026 for Pakistan and 2028-2029 for Tajikistan.
The Prime Minister of Pakistan supported the initiative of the President of Tajikistan to proclaim the year of 2025 as the International Year of Glacier Preservation and welcomed the adoption of the UN General Assembly Resolution entitled “United Nations Conference on the Midterm Comprehensive Review of the Implementation of the Objectives of the International Decade for Action “Water for Sustainable Development, 2018-2028”.
The two sides signed MoUs/Agreement in multiple fields, which will provide a favorable legal framework for the promotion of multifaceted cooperation between the two friendly countries.
The leaders recognized that the outcomes and agreements reached during the visit of Prime Minister Imran Khan constitute a step forward in augmenting ties in the development of a long-term strategic partnership between the two countries.
They commended the strong trust existing between the two countries and reaffirmed that the strategic partnership between Tajikistan and Pakistan contributed towards promoting stability and security in the region.
The Prime Minister of Pakistan thanked the President of Tajikistan and the people of Tajikistan for the warm welcome and gracious hospitality extended to him and his delegation during the official visit.