Pakistan can utilize Kazakhstan’s natural resources to accelerate its economy: Kistafin

He stressed the need to further strengthen people to people contacts and cordial relations between the two brotherly countries.


ISLAMABAD: Ambassador of Kazakhstan Yerzhan Kistafin on Thursday said that Pakistan could utilize Kazakhstan’s natural resources to accelerate its economy.

Delivering a special lecture on Kazakhstan organized by MUSLIM Institute organized here, the Ambassador said Pakistan and Kazakhstan have a huge potential for bilateral trade, said a press release.

He stressed the need to further strengthen people-to-people contacts and cordial relations between the two brotherly countries.

Being a country rich in natural resources, Kazakhstan was ready to share its resources with Pakistan, he emphasized.

He was of the view that Kazakhstan was the linchpin of China’s Belt and Road initiative due to its geographical location and vast natural resources. Similarly, China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) was a flagship project that has huge potential for regional economic integration, he added.

The Ambassador said Pakistan provided a natural link to connect the Eurasian heartland with the Arabian Sea and South Asia. At the inter-regional and intra-regional level, Pakistan could offer critical land routes and connectivity for mutually beneficial trade and energy transactions, he said.

He said, therefore, rigorous commercial diplomacy or economic diplomacy was the need of the hour. Though there was a huge potential of cooperation in the field of energy such as oil and gas, civil nuclear cooperation, and renewable energy lack of direct geographical communications between both countries hamper bilateral economic and trade cooperation and coordination, he added.

The Ambassador said “innovative plans” should be focused to enhance connectivity. The reconstruction and renovation of the Karakoram Highway in the 2000s greatly expanded Pakistan’s access to western China, he added.

He said Karakoram Highway could be expanded which might be utilized to enhance regional connectivity.

Another option could be the potential links between Islamabad and Astana through the connection of railways such as Kazakhstan-Turkmenistan-Iran and Pakistan-Iran-Turkey, he said.

He said the Pakistan-Iran-Turkey railway route has further enhanced the possibility of the realization of this plan. Strong political commitments and inclusion of private sectors could be beneficial for the desired goals of socio-economic integration and greater regional connectivity, he said.

Moreover, he said both states could work closely to bring peace and stability to Afghanistan. The security and humanitarian situation in Afghanistan has proved one of the major impediments to geographical connectivity and economic integration, he said.

He said stability in Afghanistan after the US withdrawal could be a “game-changer” for the rest of the region. Both countries could cooperate and coordinate to avert the looming worst humanitarian crises in Afghanistan, he said. The Ambassador hoped that both the states could work together to enhance strategic cooperation in the field of Anti-insurgency, counter-terrorism, military training, joint military exercises, etc. The exchange of modern techniques could foster their military cooperation.

Chairman MUSLIM Institute & Dewan of Junagadh State Sahibzada Sultan Ahmed Ali also addressed the audience. People from different walks of life participated in the event.

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