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Pak, Kazakhstan to enhance cooperation: ambassador

ISLAMABAD, Oct 30 (DNA): Ambassador of Kazakhstan to Pakistan Yerzhan
Kistafin has said Pakistan and Kazakhstan have been enjoying exemplary
diplomatic relations which can extend to new areas of cooperation.

In an exclusive interview with News and Current Affairs Channel of
state-run Radio Pakistan, he said both countries have robust political
dialogue that also needs to reflect in bilateral trade and commercial

The ambassador said the last session of Pak-Kazakh Inter-Governmental
Commission was held in Islamabad in February last year in which it was
agreed to establish three working groups on economic cooperation, energy
cooperation and cooperation in regional connectivity.

He said we also need to focus on our transport and logistics issues as
well as economic cooperation. State agencies of both countries should
work together to address issues and challenges in our bilateral economic

Yerzhan Kistafin said he has held fruitful meetings with representatives
of Pakistani business community including those of FPCCI to explore the
potential of increasing bilateral trade.

Referring to situation in Afghanistan, the Kazakh ambassador said
Kazakhstan is the biggest landlocked country in the world and we
understand the importance of regional connectivity. He said Afghanistan
could be the most beneficial country if trade increases between Pakistan
and Kazakhstan though it. He said Afghanistan can serve as a regional
transit hub between Central and South Asia if peace and stability comes
in the country.

Elaborating further, the ambassador said special representative of
Kazakhstan visited Kabul recently and held talks with current government
in Afghanistan. He said we discussed restoring our trade and economic
cooperation with Afghanistan for the mutual benefit of both the
countries.  He warned that if stability did not come to Afghanistan, it
would have wider regional implications.

On trade between Kazakhstan and Pakistan, Yerzhan Kistafin informed that
bilateral trade volume stood at 45 million us dollars last year. He said
there is a need to establish cooperation between custom services of both
Pakistan and Kazakhstan to remove hiccups in trade.

The Kazakh ambassador said apart from Afghanistan there are also other
routes for trade between the two countries. He said Karakorum Highway is
the shortest route to Central Asia from Pakistan, but due to harsh
climate in winter it is impractical to use.

Another option, he said, is the route of Khunjerab Pass through which
trade supplies can reach to Western parts of Kazakhstan.

He said Kazakhs consider Pakistan a regional power and bolstering
cooperation between the two countries will be helpful for the whole
central Asian region.

When asked about the rich hydro carbon reserves of Kazakhstan and
possible cooperation with Pakistan in this sector, the Kazakh ambassador
said the joint energy group on cooperation is working on it and
exploring new ways.

He said investment by Kazakh investors into Pakistan is also being
considered. He said Pakistan is a very promising market due to its large
population and it is attractive to foreign investors.

Referring to Shanghai Cooperation Organization, he said last month
summit of SCO countries was held in Dushanbe in which Kazakh President
emphasized on wider regional cooperation. He said cooperation with
Pakistan can help us achieve regional connectivity.

Regarding security cooperation between Islamabad and Astana, he said
ministries of defense of both countries enjoy strong ties. Cooperation
between defense universities of both countries as well as in other areas
is also increasing.

Terming terrorism as a challenging threat, the Kazakh ambassador said it
is difficult to address the issue alone and needs a collective approach.
In that area, SCO can help us a lot in stemming this menace through
joint collaboration.

Pointing to increased potential of people to people cooperation between
Kazakhstan and Pakistan, he said Prime Minister Imran Khan discussed
bilateral agenda and economic cooperation during meeting with Kazakhstan
President in Dushanbe. He said our nations have been cooperating for
centuries but nowadays there is less information about the culture and
lifestyle of the people of both countries. He said we need to enhance
awareness about each other.

The Kazakh ambassador said three pillars to this effect are increasing
direct ties between universities of both countries, stimulating direct
ties between think tanks of the two countries, and enhancing cooperation
between mass media of the two countries for exchange of information.

Exchange of TV programs can enhance cultural cooperation between the two
countries to get to know each other’s traditions, festivals and
cultures. He said invitation of artists and troupes can also help
connect the two nations.
Yerzhan Kistafin said Kazakhstan and Pakistan are enhancing cooperation
in the area of science and technology. He said we have established
direct communication between Quaid-e-Azam University, Islamabad and
Kazakh British Technical University. They are planning to exchange
students and scholars.

Similarly, he said, Pakistan’s National University of Modern Languages
and Kazakh National University are working together on different
projects relating to exchange of students and learning each other’s
language. He said Urdu and Kazakh language have many similar words, as
both originated from Turkic language. He said many Pakistani students
are already studying in Kazakh medical universities.

The Kazakh ambassador proposed to start direct flights between Pakistan
and Kazakhstan to enhance business, academic and cultural cooperation
between the two countries.

The weekly program “Diplomatic Session” was hosted by renowned
journalist and columnist Javed Siddiq while Producer of the program was
Saeed Ahmad and Executive Producer Abdul Raoof Khan.

The weekly program “Diplomatic Session” is being broadcast from News and
Current Affairs Channel and FM 101 networks of Radio Pakistan every
Saturday at 1815 hrs.

The show is also available on Radio Pakistan’s official website”, Social Media Platforms and Radio Pakistan’s Podcast


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