Pakistan and Central Asia Relations since 1991

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Pakistan and Central Asia Relations since 1991

A session held at IPS on ‘Pakistan and Central Asia Relations since 1991’ looked at Pakistan’s ties with five Central Asian republics of the former Soviet Union since their independence, individually and holistically in the historical perspective, present scenario and the future context.

01pak cente

A session held at IPS on ‘Pakistan and Central Asia Relations since 1991’ looked at Pakistan’s ties with five Central Asian republics of the former Soviet Union since their independence, individually and holistically in the historical perspective, present scenario and the future context.

The session, which was held on January 6, 2015, was addressed by Amb (r) Muhammad Khalid Khattak, the first diplomat from Pakistan in the Central Asian region (Almati, Kazakhstan), Amb (r) Javed Hafiz, the first diplomat from Pakistan in Dushanbe, Tajikistan, subject specialist Dr. Azmat Hayat Khan and DG-IPS Khalid Rahman.

Khalid Khattak presented a comprehensive historical overview of Central Asia while looking at it from Pakistan’s perspective. He said that there was a lot of exhilaration in Pakistan for establishing close ties with Central Asian states following their independence. The euphoria however was not based on ground realities as neither was Pakistan geographically connected with the region nor had it the political stability or economic strength to attract the newly founded countries.

Javed shared his insights stating that Tajikistan was abundantly rich in its water resources and should be evaluated as the potential source of electricity provision for Pakistan. Alongside the energy sector, the speaker also stressed on the need of augmenting bilateral trade with the country.

Azmat’s presentation was focused mainly on Uzbekistan, terming Pakistan’s internal as well as regional instability as the main reasons behind limited development in Pak-Uzbek relations over the years. He however stressed that the two countries should try to identify areas of mutual interest for future cooperation including energy resources, natural materials, minerals, export, textile, machinery and telecommunication.

The discussion also mooted on the initiatives of Pakistan, China, Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan Transit (PTFT), Turkmenistan–Afghanistan–Pakistan–India Pipeline (TAPI), Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), and Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), evaluating their pros and cons from Pakistan’s viewpoint.

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