Pak- Kazakh bonhomie

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Pakistan was among the first few countries to recognize Kazakhstan when it achieved independence in December 1991. Subsequently, in 1992, diplomatic ties were established between the two countries. Pakistan’s Prime Minister and President have visited Kazakhstan many times and likewise. Several legislative and ministerial leaders have exchanged visits, as well as high-level officials. Since the establishment of formal diplomatic relations, the friendship between Pakistan and Kazakhstan has been exemplary. Bilateral ties focused on mutual respect, cooperation and economic integration have been relished by both countries. In addition, both have stood in their stance towards world affairs as a collective good and have taken every opportunity to support each other on an international level.
Under various international organizations, such as the United Nations (UN), the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), the Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO), the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) and the Conference on Interaction and Confidence-building Measures in Asia (CICA) both countries have exchanged stronger political understandings and substantive collaboration. Under these platforms, several areas of cooperation have been signed, such as education, technology, energy, trade etc.
Pakistan and Kazakhstan have continuously supported each other. Pakistan supported Kazakhstan’s successful bids to international Exhibition (EXPO-2017) and WTO, whereas it supported Pakistan’s candidature to the Human Rights Council for the term (2018-2020). Pakistan also supported Kazakhstan’s candidature to the Statistical Commission for the term (2017-2020), on the other hand, it supported Pakistan’s full membership in Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO). They both supported each other’s bid to become a non-permanent member of the United Nation Security Council.
Pakistan is also involved in improving its bilateral ties with Kazakhstan through the construction of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) and other connectivity-based projects to ensure regional development and prosperity. For access to the Arabian Sea, Pakistani ports offer the shortest land route to Kazakhstan, which may be mutually beneficial for both countries. Three memoranda of understanding (MoUs) are signed by Pakistan and Kazakhstan for cooperation in the areas of trade and investment, defence and strategic studies, and training in foreign services. Both countries have strong bilateral trade goals ranging from US$ 250 million to US$ 1000 million in the days ahead.
According to statistics, the Pakistani exports to Kazakhstan consist mainly of precious stones and jewels, textiles, chemical and pharmaceutical products, agricultural and food products, fruits, shoes, leather goods, sports and medical equipment, building materials, etc. Pakistan imports building materials, food, machinery and equipment, fertilizers, steel, iron and non-ferrous metals, seed oil and so on from Kazakhstan. Pakistan has a huge consumer market and Kazakhstan can export energy resources, electricity, mining and agricultural products, in particular wheat and meat, to Pakistan in order to take advantage of its vastness. Similarly, Kazakhstan imports textile, cotton and leather products as well as sanitary engineering supplies, medicines and surgical instruments in large quantities from Pakistan. Since we live in an age of commercial diplomacy, there is an urgent need to improve trade ties through systemic understanding within the business circles of both states.
Kazakhstan has repeatedly demonstrated its keen interest in expanding its relations in the fields of military cooperation, development, training, education and related sectors. In this regard, the Kazakhstan Ministry of Defense and the Ministry of Defence and Aerospace Industry visited Karachi and took part in the 10th IDEAS-2018. Since 2005, more than 38 members of the Armed Forces of Kazakhstan have been trained in military schools in Pakistan. Four officers from Kazakhstan were educated at the International Centre for Peace and Stability in Islamabad during the period (2019-2020). Kazakhstan is willing to take advantage of the immense expertise of Pakistan in the fight against terrorism. In November 2017, the first joint counter-terrorism exercise, Dostarym-2017, was conducted at Pakistan’s National Anti-Terrorist Centre, further strengthening organizational, strategic and tactical military cooperation between the two countries. The second “Dostarym-2019” counter-terrorism exercise was organized in 2019.
Central Asia and South Asia’s regional connectivity depends largely on Pakistan and Kazakhstan’s bilateral relations. Therefore, to be used for the mutual good of both countries and the region, enormous economic potential is required.

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