KARACHI - Major breakthrough in bilateral trade relations between Pakistan and Tajikistan is in the offing as Tajik Airlines is starting its flight operation from Dushanbe to Islamabad from next month, this was stated by Tajikistan’s Ambassador to Pakistan, Dr Zubaydullo N. Zubaydov..
Following a meeting along with his Honorary Consul General, Mr Irshad Kassim held with high officials of Trade Development Authority of Pakistan (TDAP), the other day,Dr Zubaydov announced to extend full-fledged status to Consulate General of Tajikistan in Karachi and start issuing visas to the businessmen as well to the tourists very soon. “Initially a visa councilor will be posted in Karachi and more staff to be added late on depending on the volume of visa applications flowing in at the Consulate”, Tajik Envoy said. He said that Honorary Consul General, Mr Irshad Kassim is striving hard to boost bilateral trade and brotherly relations between the two countries and spearheading the Karachi Consulate. He further announced to form Pakistan-Tajikistan Business Forum (PTBF) very soon and he will visit Karachi by the end of this month in this regard. “Tajik Air will operate two flights a week from June in the first place and will add Karachi and Lahore to its operation later on”, Zubaydov said adding that he is planning to set up a display center of Tajikistan in Karachi for introduction and promotion of Tajik products in Pakistan. He said that the display centre would be a one room trading centre that would be extended further in late stage. Moreover, tripartite negotiations between Tajikistan, Pakistan and Afghanistan are going on for Transit Trade Agreement and construction of road linking Pakistan with Tajikistan through Wakhan, Afghanistan.
He said that as a follow up of a big trade delegation from Pakistan to Tajikistan arranged by TDAP with the coordination of Tajik Embassy in Islamabad last year, National Bank of Pakistan has already opened up its branch in Dushanbe and banking channel has been established. He said that President Asif Zardari and President Imam Ali Rehmon have jointly inaugurated the NBP’s branch in President Zardari’s visit to Tajikistan in March this year. He said that President Zardari’s delegation had visited Dushanbe to attend Tajikistan’s 20th Independence Day celebrations and Nauroze.
Tajik Envoy said that Tajikistan after Karachi has already appointed Honorary Consul General in Lahore and Peshawar. He said that Tajikistan is in the state of rebuilding after seven-year civil war but within 20 years of independence by virtue of great leadership of President Imamali Rehmon has become politically and economically very stable country. He informed that big activities of improvement of road network and infrastructure are going on in Tajikistan and China has taken up construction of road network at a cost of $500 million. He said that 80 per cent of the work has already been accomplished. He invited Pakistanis to visit Tajikistan for business, tourism as well as ziarat of famous Saint Syed Ali Hamadani (R.A) in Kulab. He said a number of five star and tourist hotel besides famous international chains of fast food restaurants are available in Tajikistan whereas branded chains of departmental stores are also being opened up. He invited opening up a Pakistani restaurant in Tajikistan and offered business visa in this regard. Replying to question he said that repatriation of money from Tajikistan to Pakistan is no problem as if you earn money you could repatriate it to your country. He said that cooperation in the field of textile manufacturing in Tajikistan is yielding visible results. A working group of the Ministry of Industry of Pakistan has traveled to Tajikistan in July 2011 for deliberation on the allocation of investment in cement plant construction. Minister of Communication of Pakistan Arbab Alamgir Khan visited Tajikistan last August for negotiations upon a project of Ishkashim – Chitral road connectivity. In a commemoration of the 20th anniversary of Independence of the Republic of Tajikistan, the Embassy has organized round-tables in Karachi and Peshawar attended by numerous guests and dignitaries from among the leadership of Pakistan, public figures, businessmen, scientists, writers and people from other walks of the life. Regarding CASA 1000, hydropower project he said that it would be completed within three to four year’s time and will provide 2000 mega watts electricity to Pakistan annually. “This environment friendly and green energy will be supplied at a cheap price to Pakistan and other countries in the region”, he added.