ISLAMABAD: Pakistan and Tajikistan have agreed to further expand their cooperation in diverse fields including energy, defence, security, education and culture. This was stated by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and Tajikistan President Emomali Rahmon at a joint press stakeout after their meeting in Islamabad today.

 The prime minister said Pakistan attaches great significance to early completion of CASA-1000 project. The project will enable Pakistan to import 1,000MW of electricity to meet its growing energy needs. The prime minister said he shared his vision for peaceful neighbourhood which is essential for social economic development of our people. He said the two countries have common stance to root out terrorism from the region to increase engagements at all levels.

Nawaz Sharif said they have held cordial and fruitful discussion on all dimensions of bilateral relations. They exchanged views on regional and global issues of mutual concern. He said they have harmonious views on the issues that came under discussion. He said our two countries consider extremism and terrorism as common threats. The world has appreciated Pakistan’s sacrifices and successes in eliminating these scourges. Today, we reaffirmed our shared commitment to root out these evils from our countries and the region, through increased engagement at all levels, he added.

 Nawaz Sharif said both sides expressed satisfaction at the excellent cooperation between us, at different multilateral forums, especially the UN, OIC, ECO and SCO and reiterated our mutual desire to further deepen the existing collaboration. Tajik President said both the countries have agreed on promotion of investment and exchange of delegations. He said the two sides reiterated their commitment to enhance cooperation in security, defence, energy, culture, science and technology. He said that two sides will also increase people to people contacts between the two countries. He said agreements and MOUs signed on Thursday will prove a milestone in relations between the two countries. Earlier, Pakistan and Tajikistan held delegation level talks in Islamabad on Thursday to explore ways to promote bilateral cooperation in diverse fields.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif led the Pakistani delegation while President Emomali Rahmon led the Tajik side. The two sides discussed ways and means to enhance cooperation in energy, security, trade, cultural and communication fields. They exchanged views to increase contacts on people to people basis between the two countries and exchange of delegations. They also discussed matters relating to counter terrorism and controlling human and drug smuggling.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said Pakistan wants strong trade and economic relations with Tajikistan. He said Pakistan also want to increase ground and air contacts with Tajikistan. Nawaz Sharif said Pakistan gives extreme importance to its relations with Central Asian Republics. On the occasion, Tajik President stressed the need for enhancing people to people contacts between the two countries. Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif and President of Tajikistan Emomali Rahmon also held one on one meeting and discussed ways to further strengthen bilateral relations in diverse fields. The two leaders emphasized on close collaboration between Pakistan and Tajikistan at the levels of governments and people for the mutual benefit of the two countries. Nawaz Sharif expressed satisfaction that bilateral trade has steadily risen to 15 million dollars in 2011 to 89 million dollars in 2014. Tajik President Rahmon endorsed the Prime Minister for enhanced steps to further strengthen ties in areas of trade, energy, communication, security and defence, and people-to-people contacts. On his arrival, Tajikistan President Emomali Rahmon was given official reception at the Prime Minister House in Islamabad today. Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif warmly greeted the Tajik President.

The Tajik President was given a guard of honor. He inspected the guard of honour. National anthems of the two countries were also played. Pakistan and Tajikistan signed seven agreements and MoUs to enhance bilateral cooperation in various fields. Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and Tajik President Emomali Rahmon signed joint declaration of the meeting held between the two sides. The agreements and MoUs signed are related to cooperation in energy, scientific research and industrial sector. The two sides also inked agreements for establishing Joint Business Council and Extradition Treaty for exchange of criminals between the two countries. MoU on cooperation between Foreign Ministries of the two countries was also signed.