.

PROFILE

IMAMUDDIN MANZAR

COLUMN FOR THE RECORD
POLITICS & POLICY 1- POVERTY ALLEVIATION
2-
PAK-KAZAKISTAN RELATIONSHIP
SOCIETY 1- AFGHAN REFUGEES GET EXTRA HELP FOR WINTER
2-
SAFE DRINKING WATER PHENOMENON
3-
INCOME TAX LAW

 

PAK-KAZAKHSTAN RELATIONSHIP

 

Musharraf expressed the hope that interaction of Kazakh businessmen with their Pakistani counterparts during the visit will enhance bilateral trade relations corresponding with the existing potential

 


From SHAMIM AHMED RIZVI, Islamabad
Dec 15 - 21, 2003 

 

 

The two-day official visit of the President of Kazakhstan, Noor Sultan Nazarbayev, to Pakistan along with a strong delegation of officials and businessmen will go a long way in boosting ties between the two countries especially in the economic field.

Besides signing 5 accords to boost economic and banking ties, President Noor Sultan also inaugurated the meeting of the Pak-Kazakh Business Forum which was attending by leading businessmen and organization of the two countries. In his speech at the Business Forum, Kazakh President Noor Sultan Nazarbayev noted growing economic interaction between Pakistan and Kazakhstan and hoped bilateral trade and commercial bonds would be further strengthened to their mutual benefits.

"For the last few years, revival and growth of trade volume (between the two countries) have been observed, but it is still extremely low", he told the Kazakh and Pakistani businessmen. The President said the two countries have big un-exploited reserves to significantly increase mutually beneficial trade and develop industrial cooperation.

Nazarbayev, in this regard, mentioned the interest of Pakistan government and private companies in the areas of construction and reconstruction of food and processing installations in his country, specially cotton fabric combines, sugar factories, flour-grinding combines etc. Pakistan also desires to import great amount of pig iron, super-phosphate fertilizers, cotton wool, raw leather and other agriculture produce from Kazakhstan, he added. He, however, identified high transport charges as the major hindrance to Pak-Kazakh growing cooperation in economic fields. He hoped that the upcoming meeting of ministers of transport of Kazakhstan, Kygyzstan, China and Pakistan in Almaty will open constant auto-traffic through Karakorum Highway.

Earlier after his meeting with President Pervez Musharraf, the two presidents in their joint press conference reiterated their shared emphasis that a peaceful resolution of Kashmir dispute will lead to stability and sustained economic progress of the region through greater cooperation between all countries. President General Pervez Mushrraf and President Noor Sultan Nazarbayev told the press after overseeing inking of an investment treaty and other agreements that they discussed peace and security issues and ways and means to bolster bilateral cooperation for the mutual benefit of both the countries. "We greatly value and appreciate very much the efforts of President Musharraf for a peaceful solution of Kashmir issue. A peaceful solution of Kashmir issue will benefit to all of us because that will lead to major economic cooperation in this part of the world, Nazarbayev told newsmen.

President Pervez Musharraf said during the meeting the two leaders shared views on all major issues confronting the region. " I briefed the Kazakh President on the efforts for resumption of dialogue with India and our endeavors for settlement of Kashmir dispute by peaceful means in accordance with the wishes of Kashmiri people. The two leaders also reaffirmed the common view that peace and stability in Afghanistan is imperative for the overall progress of cooperation between Pakistan and Kazakhstan and other central Asian countries. "We had complete identity of views on the situation in Afghanistan, the evolving situation in Iraq and establishment of a Palestinian state, Musharraf said adding that "The territorial integrity and sovereignty of Iraq must be preserved along with its rights over its natural resources, governance of Iraq is right of the Iraqi people and it should be restored to them as soon as possible. "We support the just struggle of our Palestinian brethren and their legitimate demand for a homeland of their own".

 

 

President Musharraf said the two countries had a comprehensive exchange of view on all issues of mutual interests. "We discussed ways to augment the multi-faced relations which encompassed all areas of mutual interest". The two sides agreed to enhance relations in political spheres as well as economic cooperation. The two countries, he said, decided to meet on regular basis to further broaden and deepen their relationship." There is a firm resolve between two countries to further deepen and strengthen the bilateral economic relations." President Musharraf said he has accepted the invitation extended by President Noor Sultan Nazarbayev to visit Kazakhstan. The dates for the visit will be worked out between the two sides.

Musharraf expressed the hope that interaction of Kazakh businessmen with their Pakistani counterparts during the visit will enhance bilateral trade relations corresponding with the existing potential. He said the implementation of the agreements signed will boost the bilateral relationship. He said the two ECO members will make efforts for realization of the goal of economic cooperation between the regional countries. The current visit of President Nazarbayev, he said, has added strength to the relations between two countries.

The Kazakh President said the talks focused on strengthening economic cooperation between the two countries. Kazakhstan, he said, is capable of exporting to Pakistan energy resources, metals, agricultural produce, food and milk products. Pakistan, he said can export to Kazakhstan textile, medical equipment, and domestic facilities. The two sides also, discussed the possibilities of cooperation in the fields of defense and security issues and joint ventures in oil and gas sectors.

President Musharraf told a questioner that the two sides discussed the great linkage that geography provides for trade and commercial activity bilaterally, between the two countries and also internationally, by using the connectivity of Pakistan with the sea and beyond. "We spoke of the communication infrastructure and the facilitation of Pakistan through this communication infrastructure at the port facilities for any exports and imports between the Central Asian Republics and Kazakhstan into Pakistan and outside. The two countries identified textiles; pharmaceuticals and surgical instruments, leather goods and agriculture produce as areas for mutual trade and commercial activity".

In response to a question, Nazarbayev said he agreed in principle to free trade between Kazakhstan and Pakistan and does not see any political obstacle in the way as the two countries have no political problem between them. It will be extremely good if a free trade agreement is signed between the two countries. However, it can be accomplished if the transportation network is to be developed within the region through Afghanistan to Pakistan, he added.

The two countries, he said, expressed the agreement that there should be air flight between them. He said it is encouraging in the context of communication links that traffic will be opened on Karakoram Highway as all the parties have agreed. He expressed the hope that Islamabad will support Kazakhstan in its efforts to become a member of the World Trade Organization (WTO).

In addition to the investment treaty, four agreement were also signed by the two countries on development of academic cooperation between the National University of Modern Languages and the Oblai Khan University, cooperation in environment, the State Bank of Pakistan and the National Bank of Kazakhstan on conditions for opening subsidiary banks and banking supervision, and on urban economic management.