Your Excellency President Emomali Rahmon, Distinguished Members of the Media, Ladies and Gentlemen,
ASSALAM-O-ALAIKUM and Good Evening!
I am delighted to be in this beautiful city of Dushanbe.
It is a great pleasure to visit brotherly Tajikistan on the invitation of President Emomali Rahmon. We have deeply enjoyed traditional Tajik hospitality.
My visit is a continuation of our frequent exchanges at the highest level.
It is a reflection of the strong fraternal ties between the peoples of Pakistan and Tajikistan – which have been nourished by the centuries-old historical and cultural linkages and linguistic affinities.
My visit is also a manifestation of our strong desire to further deepen and broaden bilateral relations with Tajikistan, as an integral part of our vision to comprehensively enhance Pakistan’s engagement with Central Asia.
Today, we had wide-ranging consultations -- covering a whole spectrum of bilateral, regional and international issues.
We reviewed our excellent political relations and agreed that there is a vast potential to be harnessed for mutually-beneficial collaboration in many fields.
Our bilateral trade has grown significantly in recent years. Through mutual efforts, it can be sustained and further increased.
We also agreed to strengthen economic cooperation by optimally utilizing the present and new institutional mechanisms and intensifying private sector interface.
A number of agreements and MoUs have been signed today for enhancing bilateral cooperation in different areas.
As we move forward, we would expand mutual cooperation in diverse fields including energy, security, education, culture, and people-to-people exchanges.
Our parliaments are interacting closely and reinforcing the efforts of the two governments for closer ties.
It is important for our socio-economic development to eliminate the scourge of extremism and terrorism. Today, we reaffirmed our commitment to maintain and further increase our high level of cooperation to counter these threats.
Pakistan and Tajikistan are also concerned about the menace of narcotics drugs, cross-border organized crimes, and human trafficking. We have resolved to collectively fight against these evils.
Our two countries cooperate closely in the UN, OIC, ECO and SCO. We reiterated our mutual desire to deepen this cooperation.
In the regional context, we conferred on the situation in Afghanistan – our brotherly country at a crucial juncture in its history, particularly post-2014.
Pakistan wishes our Afghan brothers well, as they go through the security, political and economic transitions. A peaceful, stable and unified Afghanistan remains vital for peace and stability in our region.
We have agreed to intensify our mutual consultations on Afghanistan, while we both continue to support an inclusive Afghan-led and Afghan-owned peace process.
My visit to Dushanbe has provided us an opportunity to reflect on our common goals of progress and prosperity and the development of infrastructure and connectivity for regional integration.
We both attach great importance to early completion of CASA-1000 project. This will enable Pakistan to import 1,000 MW of electricity from Tajikistan to address our growing energy needs.
Tajikistan is our closest neighbour in Central Asia. It is located at the confluence of South and Central Asia and is a gateway to the CIS region. Similarly, we offer the shortest possible route to Tajikistan and other counties in the region to our sea-ports.
Our forward-looking vision of further elevating the Pakistan-Tajikistan strategic relationship aims to build on these natural advantages.
I wish to conclude by expressing profound gratitude to my brother, President Rahmon, and the government and people of Tajikistan, for a very warm welcome and generous hospitality extended to us.
My brother has graciously accepted my invitation to visit Pakistan. The people of Pakistan look forward to welcoming him at his earliest convenience.
I thank you.
Pakistan-Tajikistan Dosti Ta Abad Zindabad.