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CASA-1000 to boost Pakistan-Tajikistan relations: President

ISLAMABAD, March 15 (DNA): President Mamnoon Hussain says CASA-1000 project will be a milestone in boosting relations between Pakistan and Tajikistan.He was talking to Tajikistan Parliamentary delegation headed by Chairman Majlisi Namoyandagon of Tajikistan Zuhurov Shukurjon in Islamabad Wednesday.

Mamnoon Hussain said that Pakistan is looking forward to the opening ceremony of the CASA-1000 project in May 2016 noting with appreciation that a committee has been formed to prepare preliminary report for additional 1000-1200 MW electricity from Tajikistan to Pakistan outside CASA-1000. The President stated that the CASA-1000 project will be a milestone in boosting bilateral relations between the two countries.

The President has said that Pakistan and Tajikistan enjoy excellent relations which are deeply rooted in common history, religion and culture. The President further said that exchange of parliamentary, business and cultural delegations would further solidify relations between the two countries and increase people to people contact.

The President called for making concerted efforts for further enhancing bilateral trade between the two countries commensurate to their potential and increase the volume of bilateral trade to US $500 million as already agreed upon between the two countries. The President said that the two brotherly countries need to enhance their cooperation in the defence sector and suggested that the Tajik military officers may avail training facilities in Pakistan.

The President said that Pakistan has been the worst victim of terrorism and extremism and has rendered great sacrifices in fighting this menace. The President categorically stated that operation Zarb-e-Azb will continue till elimination of all terrorists. President Mamnoon Hussain urged for unity and cooperation amongst the Muslim countries for collective efforts to remove misperceptions about the Muslims in the West and to project the Muslims as a peace loving and enlightened people.

The President stressed that peace in Afghanistan is necessary for peace, security and stability in Pakistan and the region. President Mamnoon stated that Pakistan is trying its utmost to facilitate reconciliation in Afghanistan through the Quadrilateral Coordination Group comprising of Afghanistan, Pakistan, China and the United States.

He added that Pakistan is sincerely pursuing the vision of a peaceful neighborhood and desires to have friendly relations with all its neighbors including India. The President emphasized that resolution of the Jammu & Kashmir issue is essential for improvement in ties with India.

Chairman Majlisi Namoyandagon of Tajikistan Mr. Zuhurov Shukurjon thanked the President for the warm welcome and hospitality extended during their visit to Pakistan and hoped that bilateral ties would reach new heights through mutual cooperation. The Chairman Majlisi Namoyandagon expressed his country’s keen desire for linkages with China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) and said that projects are already underway for rail and road connectivity with the CPEC.

Mr. Zuhurov Shukurjon extended an invitation on behalf of the President of Tajikistan to President Mamnoon Hussain to visit Tajikistan at his earliest convenience.

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