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Friday, June 21, 2024

PM Imran Khan lands in Dushanbe for 20th SCO summit

The two countries have earlier expressed a strong commitment to enter into a formal strategic partnership.

Prime Minister Imran Khan arrived in Tajikistan’s capital Dushanbe on Thursday, where he will represent the country at the 20th Shanghai Cooperation Organization Council of Heads of State (SCO-CHS) Summit.

Tajikistan Prime Minister Kokhir Rasulzoda received the Prime Minister at Dushanbe International Airport.

A high-level ministerial delegation including Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi, Information Minister Chaudhry Fawad Hussain, Minister for Maritime Affairs Syed Ali Haider Zaidi, Commerce Advisor Abdul Razak Dawood and National Security Adviser Dr Moeed Yusuf accompanied the prime minister.

The visit of PM Imran Khan is taking place at the invitation of Tajik President Emomali Rahmon on September 16-17.

Read More: Afghanistan could have peace after 40 years, says PM Imran

This is the third visit of the Prime Minister to Central Asia, undermining Pakistan’s enhanced engagement with the region. 

Minister for Information and Broadcasting Chaudhry Fawad Hussain giving details about the visit said it would prove a milestone in line with the government’s Vision Central Asia, aimed at promoting regional connectivity.

He said the prime minister would not only present Pakistan’s stance at the SCO platform but would also meet several leaders of the region on the sidelines.

PM Imran Khan has earlier participated in SCO-CHS held in Bishkek, Kyrgyz Republic on 13-14 June 2019 and SCO-CHS hosted by Russia on 10 November 2020 through video-conference.

The SCO, an eight-member permanent inter-governmental trans-regional Organization, was established in Shanghai on 15 June 2001. Pakistan became an SCO Observer in 2005 and a full member in June 2017 during Astana SCO-CHS Summit. Russia, China, India, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyz Republic and Tajikistan are other SCO members.

The SCO also has four observer states (Iran, Mongolia, Belarus and Afghanistan) and six Dialogue Partners (Azerbaijan, Armenia, Cambodia, Nepal, Turkey and Sri Lanka). 

The prime minister will hold bilateral meetings with other participating leaders on the sidelines. 

“His talks with Tajik President will cover the entire gamut of bilateral relations, especially enhancing trade, economic and investment ties with a particular focus on regional connectivity,” the Foreign Office said.

The two countries have earlier expressed a strong commitment to enter into a formal strategic partnership.

Read More: Rehabilitate Afghan refugees in Afghanistan, not on Pakistan soil: FM Qureshi

The prime minister will inaugurate the first meeting of the Pakistan-Tajikistan Business Forum for which a group of Pakistani businessmen is also visiting Dushanbe.

“The Joint Business Forum will catalyze growing trade and investment relations and promote business to business contacts between the trading communities of both sides,” the FO statement added.

Vice President Sarhad Chamber of Commerce and Industries Junaid Altaf, who is part of the delegation of businessmen said, the aim of the visit was the promotion of regional trade in line with the vision of Prime Minister Imran Khan. He mentioned that the earlier trip to Uzbekistan benefitted traders in numerous ways due to the signing of several agreements and the Memoranda of Understanding.


Vice President Quetta Chamber of Commerce and Industries Akhtar Kakar said the prime minister’s decision to arrange a business delegation to Tajikistan would reap benefits in the form of strengthening of bilateral trade. He said Pakistan’s economic prosperity was greatly linked with the promotion of trade activity.

Nazia Tauseef, a representative from the pharmaceutical industry, said the visit would open up a new gateway of opportunities for several sectors including pharmaceuticals. She thanked the Commerce Ministry for facilitating the businessmen and traders in the promotion of trade activity with regional countries.

A meeting of the Pakistan-Tajikistan Joint Business Council will also be held on the sidelines.

Pakistan and Tajikistan enjoy close brotherly relations underpinned by the bonds of common faith, history and culture. The two countries have shared perceptions and a common desire to promote economic development, peace, security and stability in the region.

The Prime Minister’s visit is part of Pakistan’s deepened engagement with Central Asia through ‘Vision Central Asia’ policy, having revitalized focus in five key areas of political ties, trade and investment, energy and connectivity, security and defence, and people-to-people contacts.

Read More: Pakistan-Iran bilateral trade can boost through ample opportunities: envoy

Courtesy: APP