Peshawar - Highlighting the significance of Central Asia, South-Asia (CASA-1000) power project, the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa businessmen have urged the government to expedite work on the CASA-1000 project, as it will help fulfil the growing energy requirements and ensure availability of electricity to industries on subsidised rates. 

The demand was made by a delegation of the Sarhad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCCI) led by its president Sherbaz Bilour, senior vice president Manzoor Elahi and former president Faiz Muhammad in a meeting with the Tajikistan Ambassador Ismatullo Nasredin here on Wednesday. They also discussed hurdles in way of bilateral trade between Pakistan and Tajikistan, and agreed to make joint efforts to remove impediments to strengthen mutual economic and trade ties between the two brotherly countries. 

Sherbaz Bilour underscored the importance of CASA-1000 project, which would not only help address the increasing energy needs, but would also ensure availability of cheap electricity. 

The SCCI president said that the CASA-1000 between Central Asian countries and Pakistan was a unique example to further improve relations in the energy sector. He noted that there was huge potential to bolster bilateral trade and economic relations between Pakistan and Tajikistan. However, he stressed the need for serious and concerted efforts to remove hurdles in the way of mutual trade between the two countries and suggested the formulation of a joint mechanism. 

The Tajik envoy Ismatullo Nasredin agreed with the proposals of the SCCI delegation and stressed the need for joint efforts by both the countries to improve bilateral trade and economic relations. He said that his country and Kyrgyzstan had already completed work on CASA-1000 project. However, he emphasised that the government of Pakistan should also expedite work on this important natural project to make the joint initiative a success. He said that CASA-1000 project would strengthen bilateral relations between Pakistan and Central Asian Republics.