Islamabad - Centuries-old historical and cultural links between the brotherly people of Pakistan and Tajikistan provide a strong basis for further enhancing their economic, commercial and trade relations.

These remarks were made by Gononov S.Sherali, Ambassador of Tajikistan in Pakistan while expressing his views with the business community of Islamabad Chamber of Commerce & Industry (ICCI).

He said that Tajikistan has huge hydel power potential, therefore, both the countries could cooperate in this areas to further enhance their bilateral relations.

The Ambassador said that Tajikistan is keen to establish direct air-link between Islamabad and Dushanbe which would bring people of the two countries closer to each other.

He said that Tajik Air flights on Dushanbe-Islamabad-Dubai would pave the way for increasing tourist traffic and promoting greater people to people contacts as well as he informed the meeting that Qatar Airline is also interested to establish Doha-Dushanbe-Islamabad air link which would also create direct air link between Pakistan and Tajikistan.

Gononov said that Pakistani cement and textile have great demand in Tajikistan, adding that both the countries could initiate joint ventures in the areas of mutual interests which would open new avenues of cooperation.

In his welcome address, Zafar Bakhtawari, President ICCI said that Pakistan attached great importance to enhance its relationship with all Central Asian Republic States including Tajikistan as President of Pakistan is also keen to enhance mutually beneficial relation between Pakistan and Tajikistan.

Bakhtawari said that there should be direct air link between Pakistan and all Central Asian Republic States as well as all these countries should support each other in promoting regional connectivity through starting at least two of their flights in a week which would help businessmen in visiting each other’s country and exploring new areas of commercial linkages.

He said that both the sides must ensure liberal visa policy to enable the businessmen get visa easily and meet each other which is imperative to boost trade ties between the two countries as there is enough potential in various fields between the two countries to increase trade.

ICCI President also underscored the need for a road link between Pakistan and Tajikistan through the Lowari Tunnel for connecting Chitral and Tajikistan saying that the road link will help increasing the trade volume and would benefit the local industries and the population.