Pakistan And Kazakhstan Can Benefit From Enhanced Strategic And Economic Cooperation
By News Desk
Peace in Afghanistan is indispensable for regional peace and economic cooperation between Pakistan and Kazakhstan
Islamabad – MUSLIM Institute organized a special lecture on Kazakhstan by the Ambassador of Kazakhstan, Yerzhan Kistafin at MUSLIM Institute Islamabad. Chairman MUSLIM Institute & Dewan of Junagadh State Sahibzada Sultan Ahmed Ali also addressed the audience.
Ambassador of Kazakhstan stressed the need to further strengthen people to people contacts and cordial relations between the two brotherly countries. He also talked about the importance of Afghanistan for regional peace, and socio-economic stability of the region.
Being a country rich in natural resource, Kazakhstan is ready to share its resources with Pakistan, the Ambassador emphasized. Kazakhstan is the linchpin of China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) due to its geographical location and vast natural resources. Similarly, China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) is a flagship project of BRI that has huge potential for regional economic integration.
Pakistan provides a natural link to connect the Eurasian heartland with the Arabian Sea and South Asia. At the inter-regional and intra-regional level, Pakistan can offer the critical land routes and connectivity for mutually beneficial trade and energy transaction. Therefore, rigorous commercial diplomacy or economic diplomacy is the need of the hour. Though there is a huge potential of cooperation in the field of energy such as oil and gas, civil nuclear cooperation and renewable energy but lack of direct geographical communications between both countries hamper bilateral economic and trade cooperation and coordination. Therefore, “innovative plans” should be focused upon in order to enhance connectivity.
The reconstruction and renovation of the Karakoram Highway in the 2000s greatly expanded Pakistan’s access to western China. Karakoram Highway could be expanded which may 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.
Kazakhstan’s New Economic Policy ‘Nurly Zhol’ to develop and modernize roads, railways and ports, converges with Pakistan’s CPEC for the up-gradation of ML-1. 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. Moreover, both states can work closely to bring peace and stability in Afghanistan.
Security and humanitarian situation in Afghanistan has proved one of the major impediments to geographical connectivity and economic integration. 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. For this purpose, both countries could utilize regional and international platforms such as Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), Organization of Islamic cooperation (OIC) and United Nations.
The Ambassador hoped that both states could work together to enhance strategic cooperation in the field of anti-insurgency, counter-terrorism, military training, joint military exercises etc. Exchange of modern techniques could foster their military cooperation. People from different walks of life participated in the event.