CASA power project to be completed early, Tajikistan assured

DUSHANBE: Pakistan on Wednesday assured Tajikistan of making utmost efforts for an early completion of the CASA-1000 project.

Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi at a joint press conference with his Tajik counterpart Sirajuddin Mehruddin said Pakistan believes that Central Asia-South Asia (CASA-1000) project will not only benefit the two countries, but the entire region.

Launched in 2016, the under-construction CASA-1000 power project will allow the export of surplus hydroelectricity from Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan to Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Mr Qureshi said that CASA-1000 project would improve electricity access, integrate and expand markets to increase trade and find sustainable solutions to water resources management.

Mr Qureshi said he was pleased to learn through Foreign Minister Mehruddin that Tajik President Emomali Rahmon in a meeting with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani had stressed the need for a tripartite transit trade agreement among Tajikistan, Afghanistan and Pakistan.

He said Pakistan on its part would pursue the matter of tripartite agreement with the Afghan leadership for the benefit of three countries.

He expressed satisfaction that bilateral relations with Tajikistan had become strengthened with time in line with the two joint declarations of 2017 and 2018 to promote cooperation.

He said that during a meeting with his Tajik counterpart, it was agreed to renew the spirit of the existing roadmap for bilateral cooperation and also decided to activate the joint working groups and the intergovernmental commission.

Mr Qureshi invited businessmen from the two countries to strengthen trade relations and offered to facilitate the Tajik investors.

He said both Pakistan and Tajikistan had fought the menace of terrorism and expressed satisfaction over the defence cooperation.

He expressed pleasure that about 200 Tajik military officers had received military training in Pakistan and offered assistance on more capacity-building defence and diplomatic courses.

Tajik Foreign Minister Sirajuddin Mehruddin, terming the meeting with Mr Qureshi meaningful, said it focused on important global and regional issues.

He said that Pakistan’s commitment to CASA-1000 energy project was commendable. He expressed the hope that its completion would further strengthen relations between the two countries.

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