Wednesday September 22, 2021

Tajik President Emomali Rahmon arrives in Islamabad today

FM Qureshi had extended an invitation to President Emomali Rahmon on behalf of PM Imran Khan in a meeting in Dushanbe
Tajik President Emomali Rahmon. File photo

ISLAMABAD: President of Tajikistan Emomali Rahmon, accompanied by a high-level delegation, will arrive in Islamabad today (Wednesday) for a two-day visit.

Earlier in March, Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi had extended an invitation to Rahmon on behalf of Prime Minister Imran Khan in a meeting in Dushanbe. “Tajikistan is important within the context of Pakistan’s vision for closer ties and enhanced cooperation with Central Asia.

The vision emphasizes forging deeper trade, investment, energy, security, and people-to-people links”, said the Foreign Office while announcing the visit. Bilateral relations with Tajikistan are characterised by Pakistan as one with mutual respect, shared perceptions and a common desire to promote peace, stability and development in the region.

Qureshi during the 9th Heart of Asia — Istanbul Process Ministerial Conference in Dushanbe, had met with the civil and military leadership of Tajikistan. “Indeed our bilateral ties with Tajikistan are of great importance with the shared vision and goals of both Pakistan and Tajikistan leadership lending a strong foundation to build these further,” Qureshi had said at the time. Pakistan has also offered its seaports to Tajikistan since they offered the shortest route to connectivity with Southeast Asia, the Middle East, Africa and beyond.

Pakistan has trained many military officers and senior diplomats of Tajikistan, while the government says it will welcome more officers coming to Pakistan, while extending Pakistan’s willingness in training and further building Tajikistan’s military capabilities.

During the visit, Prime Minister Imran Khan and President Rahmon will lead their respective sides in the delegation-level talks. Both Pakistan and Tajikistan are part of the CASA-1000 Transmission line Project along with Kyrgyz Republic and Afghanistan. The power project envisages the transportation of surplus electric power from Kyrgyz Republic and Tajikistan to Pakistan (1000MW) and Afghanistan (300MW).

Qureshi on his visit to Dushanbe had held out an assurance of Pakistan’s commitment to CASA-1000 and its interest in its timely completion because it was project that benefits Pakistan and the region. “The two sides will exchange views on deepening bilateral cooperation in diverse areas — including political, economic, trade, investment, energy, security and defence, culture, education and regional connectivity”, said the Foreign Office.

A number of agreements/MoUs are expected to be signed during the visit. The visiting dignitary will separately meet with President Dr Arif Alvi. The two countries share common views on major regional and international issues and cooperate closely at various multilateral fora.

Qureshi says there is a lot of opportunity for enhancing bilateral trade and promoting investment in both countries, and urged the need for businessmen and entrepreneurs in both countries to visit the other and invest in potential business opportunities.

On 25th May 2021, the two sides held the 5th round of Pakistan-Tajikistan Bilateral Political Consultations (BPC) at the level of foreign secretary/first deputy foreign minister and reviewed the whole gamut of bilateral relations.

Pakistan has also stressed the importance of parliamentary exchanges because they create linkages amongst policy makers for both governments and that is very important. President Rahmon has visited Pakistan seven times since 1994. His last bilateral visit was in November 2015. In the multilateral context, President Rahmon visited Pakistan for the 13th ECO Summit held in Islamabad in March 2017. His forthcoming visit will reinforce the efforts of both sides to forge a long-term, multi-dimensional relationship.