PM for strength­en­ing of ties with Kaza­khis­tan

The Pak Banker - - FRONT PAGE -

Prime Min­is­ter Muham­mad Nawaz Sharif Tues­day said the pur­pose of his visit to Kaza­khstan was to fur­ther strengthen ties, ex­pand co­op­er­a­tion in dif­fer­ent ar­eas, and in­crease bi­lat­eral trade, in­vest­ment and eco­nomic co­op­er­a­tion.

The Prime Min­is­ter, who ar­rived in the Kazakh Cap­i­tal on a two-day visit, said he would ex­change views with the lead­ers of the host coun­try on sig­nif­i­cant bi­lat­eral is­sues. In a de­tailed in­ter­view pub­lished in the As­tana Times, the lead­ing English daily of Kaza­khstan, he said the bi­lat­eral trade be­tween Pak­istan and Kaza­khstan was far be­low its po­ten­tial. There ex­isted tremen­dous po­ten­tial for en­hanc­ing the same, he added. He stressed that both sides needed to make ef­forts to uti­lize all avail­able op­tions, while si­mul­ta­ne­ously ex­plor­ing new ar­eas of co­op­er­a­tion.

Re­spond­ing to a ques­tion, Prime Min­is­ter Nawaz Sharif said that Pak­istan sup­ported the Con­fer­ence for In­ter­ac­tion and Con­fi­dence­Build­ing Mea­sures in Asia (CICA) process and ac­tively par­tic­i­pated in its ac­tiv­i­ties. Pak­istan had re­cently joined the Shang­hai Co­op­er­a­tion Or­ga­ni­za­tion (SCO), which was also an im­por­tant or­ga­ni­za­tion, he added.

He said, "Pak­istan be­lieves that ad­her­ence to the UN Char­ter is es­sen­tial for peace, sta­bil­ity and se­cu­rity in Asia. Prin­ci­ples of non­in­ter­fer­ence in in­ter­nal af­fairs, de­vel­op­ment of friendly re­la­tions and set­tle­ment of dis­putes through di­a­logue should be pro­moted. There is an in­trin­sic link be­tween de­vel­op­ment and se­cu­rity. There­fore, we should fo­cus on re­gional con­nec­tiv­ity and build­ing eco­nomic syn­er­gies."

"Pak­istan ad­mires Kaza­khstan's role for the in­ter­na­tional peace and se­cu­rity and has full con­fi­dence in our broth­erly coun­try and its vi­sion­ary lead­er­ship. The Kazakh lead­er­ship cre­ated CICA, which con­trib­utes to peace and se­cu­rity. Kaza­khstan is also an im­por­tant mem­ber of SCO. We welcome Kaza­khstan's in­creas­ing role as a peace build­ing cen­ter," he added.

The Prime Min­is­ter also sup­ported Kaza­khstan's can­di­da­ture for elec­tion to a non­per­ma­nent seat on the UN Se­cu­rity Coun­cil for the term 2017-2018.

Re­ply­ing to a query, he said that Pak­istan viewed China-Pak­istan Eco­nomic Cor­ri­dor (CPEC) as a means to achieve its ob­jec­tive of re­gional con­nec­tiv­ity and growth op­por­tu­nity for the en­tire re­gion and which would cre­ate a win-win sit­u­a­tion for all.

About Afghan peace and rec­on­cil­i­a­tion process, Nawaz Sharif said they fully sup­ported an Afghan-led and Afghan-owned peace and rec­on­cil­i­a­tion process. Sta­bil­ity and peace in Afghanistan was very im­por­tant for Pak­istan and the re­gion, he added. To another ques­tion, the Prime Min­is­ter said that they had launched the Op­er­a­tion Zarb-e-Azb to erad­i­cate the men­ace of ex­trem­ism and ter­ror­ism and it was suc­cess­fully go­ing on.

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