ISLAMABAD: In a major development, Russian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday told Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif that the installation of a pipeline for the supply of gas to Pakistan from Moscow is possible.
The remarks came during a meeting between PM Shahbaz and Russian President Putin in Samarkand on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) summit in Uzbekistan.
During the meeting, matters of mutual interests, bilateral relations between the two countries, and other issues were discussed.
Putin also said that a gas pipeline between Pakistan and Russia was part of the already existing infrastructure.
In his meeting with PM Shahbaz, President Putin also expressed solidarity and support for the flood-hit population in Pakistan after he was informed about the devastating impact of the climate-induced calamity.
The premier reaffirmed Pakistan’s commitment to work closely with Russia to expand and strengthen cooperation across all areas, including food security, trade and investment, energy, defence, and security.
Speaking about regional politics, PM Shahbaz said that both Pakistan and Russia had vital stakes in a peaceful and stable Afghanistan, adding that Pakistan was committed to supporting all regional and international efforts to stabilise its neighbouring country.
PM Shahbaz, in his meeting with Tajikistan’s President Emomali Rahmon, reiterated Pakistan’s resolve for timely completion of the currently under-construction CASA-1000 power transmission project.
The project is aimed at supplying surplus hydroelectricity to Afghanistan and Pakistan from Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan.
President Rahmon also extended his sympathies and condolences following the loss of lives in the Pakistan flooding, assuring support to aid relief and rehabilitation of victims.
During the meeting, the premier highlighted the need for a strategic partnership with Tajikistan to bolster security, and mutual trust, counter global threats and challenges, enhance regional stability, and expand political, trade and economic cooperation.
The leaders also resolved on strengthening high-level contacts, inter-parliamentary ties, and defence and security relations.
PM Shahbaz emphasized the expansion of cooperation in the field of road transportation and enhance connectivity while underlining Pakistan’s readiness to facilitate Tajikistan access to Gwadar and Karachi.
PM Shahbaz’s meeting with Uzbekistan’s President Shavkat Mirziyoyev was focused on the discussion regarding the significance of enhancing political ties, fast-tracking trade and economic cooperation by fully operationalising the Uzbekistan-Pakistan Transit Trade Agreement (UPTTA) and Preferential Trade Agreement (PTA).
The premier stressed closer defence and security cooperation. He further emphasised expanding partnerships in the field of education, culture, and tourism. The two leaders also discussed a liberalised Visa Regime to encourage respective business communities to boost bilateral trade and investment.
PM Shahbaz also reaffirmed Pakistan’s commitment to completing the Trans-Afghan Railway project. He also thanked President Mirziyoyev for sending humanitarian aid to help flood-hit affectees.
PM Shahbaz Sharif lands in Uzbekistan
Earlier today, PM Shahbaz reached Uzbekistan on a two-day visit to attend the annual meeting of the SCO's Council of Heads of State (CHS).
The premier was there to attend the SCO summit which is scheduled to be held on September 15-16 at the invitation of Uzbekistan President Shavkat Mirziyoyev. The CHS is the highest forum at the SCO, which considers and defines the strategy, prospects and priorities of the organisation.
During the meeting, the SCO leaders are set to deliberate on important global and regional issues, including climate change, food security energy security, and sustainable supply chains.
They would also approve agreements and documents that would chart the future direction of cooperation among SCO member states.
Besides attending the summit, the prime minister would hold bilateral meetings with other participating leaders on the sidelines of the Council of Heads of State meeting.
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