ISLAMABAD  - Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif will leave today (Tuesday) on a two-day official visit to Kazakhstan on the invitation of President Nursultan Abishevich Nazarbayev.

He will be accompanied by a high-level delegation.

According to Foreign Office, during the visit to Astana, the PM will hold meetings with President Nursultan Abishevich Nazarbayev and Prime Minister Karim Massimov. A number of agreements and MoUs are expected to be signed during the visit.

The leaders of both countries will discuss bilateral relations and exchange views on regional and international issues of mutual interest.

Commenting on prime minister’s visit, a senior government official said that the visit is of vital importance for Pakistan.

He was of the view that since Kazakhstan is located on the old silk route with immense hydrocarbon resources, Pakistan can greatly benefit not only to meet its future energy needs but also promote trade with Kazakhstan through deep sea Gawadr port.

Pakistan and Kazakhstan are also enjoying cooperative relations in defence production and efforts are underway to further enhance bilateral cooperation in other areas, including counterterrorism and intelligence sharing.

Kazakhstan and Pakistan are also working on proposals to enhance cooperation in peaceful use of nuclear energy for mutual benefit. “This is a very significant visit in which new milestones can be created to increase bilateral cooperation between the two countries for mutual benefits,” the official added.

Pakistan was among the first few countries that recognised and established diplomatic relations with Kazakhstan after its independence in December 1991.

The two countries share common views on major regional and international issues and cooperate closely in multilateral forums, including the UN, SCO, ECO and OIC.

The relations between the two regional countries are based on mutual respect, shared perceptions and common desire to promote peace, stability and development in the region.