At the invitation of President of Tajikistan, Mr. Emomali Rahmon, Prime Minister of Pakistan, Mr. Muhammad Nawaz Sharif visited Dushanbe, Tajikistan on 11-12 May 2016 to attend the Launching Ceremony of CASA-1000. He was accompanied by Khawaja Muhammad Asif, Minister for Water and Power/Defence, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs, Syed Tariq Fatemi, Mr. Muhammad Younas Dagha, Secretary, Ministry of Water & Power and other senior officers.

The Prime Minister was received by the First Deputy Prime Minister of Tajikistan, Mr. Davlatali Said and Mr.Davlatshoh Gulmuhammadzoda, Chairman of Khatlon Region at Kulob airport in the morning of 11 May 2016, where he visited the Mausoleum of prominent Sufi Saint, Mir Sayyid Ali Hamadani and offered Fateha. Afterwards, Prime Minister and his delegation arrived in Dushanbe and were warmly welcomed at the airport by Tajik Prime Minister Mr. Qohir Rasulzoda and First Deputy Foreign Minister, Mr. Nizomiddin Zohidi.

On the same evening, Prime Minister was received by the Tajik President Emomali Rahmon at the Palace of Nation where the two leaders held delegation-level talks. During the talks, the whole gamut of bilateral relations was discussed and reviewed. The two leaders expressed satisfaction at the growing cooperation between the two countries, particularly in the areas of energy, trade, connectivity and defence and stressed on the need to further tap the vast potential that still remained unexplored to the mutual benefit of both the peoples. Both the leaders emphasized that the connectivity holds the key to regional integration and progress and were delighted to note the resumption of direct air link between the two countries, which would increase trade, people to people contacts and tourism on both sides.

A special banquet, declared by the Tajik Government as “Sham-e-Dosti”, was hosted by the Tajik President in honour of the Prime Minister and his delegation.

On 12 May, Prime Minister attended the Launching Ceremony of CASA-1000 in Tursunzade city along with the Tajik President Emomali Rahmon, Mr. Abdullah Abdullah, Chief Executive of Afghanistan and Mr. Jeenbekov Sooronbai, Prime Minister of Kyrgyz Republic. In his speech, the Prime Minister expressed his profound appreciation for the organization of the impressive ceremony and said that after many years of joint efforts by the Governments of the four friendly countries and other international donor countries/partners, the project has finally entered the implementation phase, which would ultimately result in a win-win situation for all of the stakeholders. He further said that this project would be a harbinger for increased energy connectivity between the energy-rich Central Asia and energy-deficient South Asia. In the end, the Prime Minister reiterated Pakistan’s full commitment to the project’s early implementation.

Earlier, a Roundtable conference on “CASA-1000 and Prospect of Regional Energy Cooperation Development” was held on 11 May 2016 at National Library in Dushanbe, which was attended by the Ministers and representatives of the four participating countries and international donor countries/partners. Khawaja Muhammad Asif, Minister for Water and Power along with Secretary, Ministry of Water and Power represented Pakistan in the conference.
Before his departure for Islamabad, the Prime Minister attended the official Reception hosted by the Tajik President in honour of the visiting dignitaries at Navruz Palace. On departure, the Prime Minister and his delegation were seen off by the Tajik Prime Minister at the airport.

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