Kazakh Envoy for developing real road and rail connectivity to enhance cooperation

Ambassador of Kazakhstan to Pakistan Yerzhan Kistafin has emphasized developing a real road and rail connectivity with regional approach to enhance cooperation between Pakistan and Kazakhstan in diverse fields including trade and energy sectors. In an interview with Radio Pakistan, he said Pakistan and Kazakhstan enjoy very friendly and cordial relations and the two countries are cooperating with each other in different sectors to take this fraternal cooperation to new heights. The Ambassador said leaders of both sides meet regularly for political dialogue to further deepen this cooperation. He said Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif is expected to visit Astana to participate in Shanghai Cooperation Organization Summit. He said the political leadership of both the countries is engaged and working that relation between Pakistan and Kazakhstan should be activated. Turning to economic cooperation between Pakistan and Kazakhstan, the Ambassador said unfortunately we are far below to tap the real potential of econ omic cooperation between the two countries. He said trade volume between Pakistan and Kazakhstan was one hundred million dollar last year, which is quite little and it can be increased to the tune of one billion dollars. Yerzhan Kistafin said we are also working with big logistic companies of Pakistan including NLC and improve connectivity and enhance bilateral trade. He said Kazakhstan largely produces wheat which can be imported by Pakistan. Our country is also rich in minerals and energy and Pakistan can also take benefit from these resources if there is real rail or road connectivity. The Kazakh Ambassador said we are developing our cooperation in agriculture, education and in culture as well. He said the 12th Inter Governmental Joint Commission was held in Astana last year in which both sides agreed to establish joint working group on agriculture. He said we are also planning to hold another ministerial level session this year to boost friendly relations between the two countries. Replying to a ques tion, the Ambassador said Kazakhstan is currently chairing the Shanghai Cooperation Organization and we have prioritized several areas for developing cooperation within the region. We should also develop connectivity among the SCO member countries. He said Pakistan and Kazakhstan can also increase their mutual cooperation through this forum and bilaterally in diverse fields including terrorism, security and climate change. He said there is dire need to augment interaction between our two forces, law enforcement and security services to deal with the issue of terrorism and security. The Ambassador said it is our firm belief that we should develop a multilateral interaction to deal with the challenges of terrorism, energy and climate change. The Kazakhstan Ambassador said his country is expecting visits of different Ministers of Pakistan to Astana during this year. He said we must also restore century old historical and cultural bonds between the people of Kazakhstan and Pakistan, particularly on province level. He said we can connect our cities on the basis of our old religious sites. There is also a vast potential to enhance cooperation between Pakistan and Kazakhstan to preserve our ancient cultural heritage. He said a Memorandum of Understanding was also signed in Inter Governmental Joint Commission meeting held in Astana in last year to boost cooperation in art and culture. The Ambassador said we also want to boost our relations in media industry including Television and Radio productions and newspapers to establish a direct exchange of information, which is extremely important particularly in the changing global environment. He said we need to develop a direct channel for exchange of information. Source: Radio Pakistan