Tajikistan & Pakistan Relations

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Tajikistan is the world’s third largest producer of hydroelectric power after the U.S. and Russia. Hydroelectric generation accounts for 76 percent of total energy output in the country. Energy consumption per capita is among the lowest in the NIS. An estimated 3,908 million kWh of electricity was exported from Tajikistan in 2000. Tajikistan is also an importer of electricity and in 2000 imported electricity, which amounted to an estimated 5242.3 million kWh. Imports of energy for Tajikistan will be on the rise from the effects of the drought in 2000 causing a drop in the water level at the reservoir serving the largest hydroelectric power station in all of Central Asia, Norak.

On 9th September, Tajik nation will celebrate the 16th anniversary of country’s independence.

The Islamic Republic of Pakistan, established diplomatic relationship with the Republic of Tajikistan in 1992, but cooperation between these two countries started from 1991. Geographically Tajikistan is the nearest Central Asian State to Pakistan – fourteen kilo meters between two countries.

It’s remarkable, that 10 years ago, during the civil war in Tajikistan, the Islamic Republic of Pakistan hosted Tajikistan refugees for several years, especially support, which was provided by government of Pakistan for Tajik students in Pakistan. We know that by support of UN and Pakistani government, almost 800 Tajik refugees were sent back to their country. The leadership of Tajikistan appreciated the support and help which has been wade by UN and the government of Pakistan and remained thankfulness for both of them.

Implementation of the large scale of hydro power projects at Sunguta-1, Santuda-2 and restoration of construction at most large electricity project – Rogoun and some others will be served for the interests of the whole region and should become the illustration of the strengthening ties between the peoples of the Asian countries.

Tajikistan and Pakistan together took part in settlement of regional issues; contribute to building up integration processes within the Organization of Economic Corporation, the Conference for the mutual confidence of the Asian countries and the Shanghai Corporation Organization.

Pakistan really can be a gateway of the Central Asia for trade and commerce and that would be a tremendous source of revenue from the states of this region. From the Pakistan Point-of-view, and equally, it would provide opportunities for Central Asian states such as Tajikistan, to boost cheaper exports. To promote Pak – Tajik bilateral relations, for the last few years, both governments have exchanged high level of diplomatic and trade delegations. Pakistan and Tajikistan have signed about twenty agreements, protocols and memorandums of understanding to extend cooperation in energy, communications, insurance, investments and industry, air transport, banking and financial, agricultural and food industry, transport and constructions of roads, science and technology, education, health, tourism, culture on the basis of mutual equality and increase the current level of trade.

Financial institutes and international organizations like IMB, World Bank, Asian Development Bank, Islamic Development Bank, European Bank of Reconstruction and Development, European Commission and UNDP have assured their support for the energy transmission line project via Phule-Khumri and Kabul areas to Pakistan, to export electricity from Tajikistan. Both countries also agreed to cooperate in field of explorations, extraction and processing of gas and oil products. By constructing Totkhum-Jalalabad road in Afghanistan as part of our endeavours to establish a land rout with Tajikistan.

Apart from trade and economic ties, Tajikistan has also spiritual and religious relations with Pakistan. Great saint /sufi Hazrat Syed Amir Kabir Ali Hamdani (known as Hazrat Shah-e-Hamdan) preached Islam throughout the sub-continent and Central Asia. The shrine of this saint is located in Kulyab city of Tajikistan.

The two Muslim countries need to use cultural relations and the old and deep historical common roots to strengthen Pak-Tajik relations and to translate them into enhanced cooperation in a broad spectrum of areas, as said by H. E. Mr. Shaukat Aziz, the Prime Minister of Pakistan.

Pakistan, during the long time is showing it’s interest to buy energy power from Tajikistan. That’s why it’s ready to take part in implementation of Tajik hydro energy projects by investing Tajikistan got its independence from former Soviet Union in 1991. This state is bordering China in the west, Afghanistan in the south, Uzbekistan in the east and Kyrgyzstan in the north. Tajikistan is the only Persian speaking country and the inhabitants of this mountainous country have deep cultural, linguistic and religious ties with Pakistan.

Pakistan is one the first countries who recognized the independence of Tajikistan and established diplomatic ties with it, and opened Pakistan’s embassy in Dushanbe in 1993. While the Republic of Tajikistan opened its diplomatic mission in Pakistan four years later in 1997. Thus the bilateral relations between the two brother countries started developing in different fields.

In this period, the President of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan Gen Pervez Musharraf and the Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz paid official visits to Tajikistan. The President of Tajikistan Emomali Rahman also visited Pakistan officially. Both the Presidents announced after their official meetings and talks for stepping up the efforts to enhance bilateral relations. At that time, Pakistan declared to facilitate landlocked Tajikistan’s access to the world through its land routes and sea.

Both sides work on countering regional terrorism, drug trafficking, religious extremism and ensuring stability and security in Asia. There is a Joint Economic Commission functioning between the two governments, which conducted its last meeting in October 2006 in Dushanbe under the Chairmanship of Mr.Liaqat Ali Jatoi, the Minister for Water and Power of Pakistan.

By the end of 2005, the Pak-Tajik relations entered into a new era of progress and development with inauguration of Tajik Embassy in Islamabad. Tajikistan opened its embassy in Islamabad in February 2005. In May 2006, the Extraordinary and Plenipotent ally, the Tajik Ambassador H.E. Mr.Saidbeg Saidov was accredited by the President of Pakistan Gen Pervez Musharraf.

The activities in the relations restarted and in the result of it, the Lahore Chamber of Commerce House has spent the exhibition of the samples of Pakistan industry with two trade centres, in Dushanbe and Khujand cities of Tajikistan

Tajikistan is in a dire need of access to the world through Pakistani port like Gwardar, and Pakistan is also looking to import Tajik power to its northern areas, as Tajikistan has the huge Hydropower potentials and cheapest electricity in the world.

By adapting a new strategy, the government of Tajikistan shall be able to assure its electricity requirements by 2009 and will also export to the other countries. For the advancement of the communication projects, the government has adopted strategy to construct new highways and bridges to link Tajikistan with neighbouring countries. Opening the highways of Kulyab- Khorug-Kulma-Karakoruom, the Istiqlal Tunnel, 4 bridges between Tajikistan and Afghanistan, reconstruction of Dushanbe – Qurgantepa highway and also the construction of Dushanbe , Nurabad, Jirgatal – Saritosh are considered as positive steps for the communication advancement. Nowadays over 50 agricultural and construction projects are under implementation by cost of more than 2 billion Samani (about 700 million US $). The realization of these projects will help Tajikistan’s access to the ports of Pakistan and Iran.

In order to improve and promote the beneficial relations with the foreign countries, the President of the Republic of Tajikistan announced the strategy of open door policy for last period, which is reconsidering a successful policy.
The Republic of Tajikistan has diplomatic relations with more than 130 countries of the world and has the membership of about 40 regional and international organizations. Nowadays, about 20 countries have their embassies in Tajikistan.

Improvement of the valuable relations with the Federation of Russia, United States of America and the Republic of China is a great and historical achievement of implementation of the foreign policy. Enhancing the beneficial relations with the Western countries of France, Britain, Germany, Italy, Norway and also countries of Eastern Europe is one of the important aspects of the foreign policy of Tajikistan.

Relations with the countries of the common languages and cultural, such Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, India and Turkey are developing with the optimal speed.
According to the Privatization of Tourism Program for 2003-2007, by the 1st January 2007, 9511 enterprises including 8512 small and 999 medium and large ones are privatized. Last year, 697 producing enterprises in Tajikistan. There is also a work continued at the British-Tajik Zarafshan joint venture.
36 percent of produced cotton in Tajikistan is using inside the country and 64 percent is exported. In 2006, 3030 tons of silk cocoons were produced. (After starting up work on the hydro power station Sangtuda-1 in December 2006, the energy producing will be increased 17 billion KWO which has Tajikistan at present time.

Gas fields of Khoja Sartez capable to work for 30 percent, which is enough only for Kolyab town, another gas field of Khoja Boqirgon, which was started to drill since 1998 and by the 1st November 2006 has been completed to 4973 meters out of 5100 meters.

Now new prospectively gas and oil fields have been discovered, like East Suletav , Rangon, Sargazon, Olimtoy, Yazgilkak, Qiziltumshuk and Kashkakum.

AGRICULTURE

Total products of the agriculture field of the country in 2006 valued more than 1 billion US $. By the 1st January 2007 comparing to 2005, live stock increased between 5-10 % and by the 1st November 2006 number of the agriculture/ live stock forms was 29419. In 2006, the production of cotton’s thread was 135.8 thousand tons, 912.2 thousand tons grain crops, 573.4 thousand tons of potatoes.

EXPORTS & IMPORTS
In 2006, there was good business cooperation with neighbouring countries of Russia, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Armenia, Belarus, Iran, Turkey, China and Pakistan, as well as European countries. The cooperation was continued in frame of work of the regional & international economical and commercial organizations like, ECO, International Trade Organizations (ITO), SCO and Europe Asia Economic Commonwealth. Foreign trade relations developed with 88 world countries.

In 2006, exports were 1.399 billion US $, while imports were 1722.6 billion US $. In foreign trade activity share of the Commonwealth Independent Countries (CIC) was less than the other countries about 20 % .Last year primary aluminium produced 409 thousand tons by amount 1049.5 million US $ as compare to 2005 it is increased by 486.5 million US $. Average price of 1 ton primary aluminium in 2006 was 2567 US $, which was 1067 US $ more for 1 ton as compare to 2005. In 2006 cotton was exported 128.7 million US $, electricity 49 million US $, fruits & vegetables 30.1 million US $.

In 2006 Tajikistan imported oil & petroleum from Federal Russia, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan. At same time there were 1720 small enterprises in the country with 17.3 thousand employees. Number of the businessmen in 11 months of 2006 was 99.9 thousand.

EDUCATION

There are 39 higher education institutes & universities including 11 branches are training & educating specialists for 150 specialities every year. In 2006-2007, the institutes of energy and the institutes of mining metallurgy have been opened. More than 200 students are studying abroad in about ten countries. In 2006-2007, there were 3789 secondary schools in the country with 1672.7 thousand students. Number of the teacher in 2006 was 99800 including 52200 women teachers.

HUMAN DEVELOPMENT

456 hospitals, 1058 ambulances with 13300 doctors & 28900 paramedical are serving the nation. 223 kind of books with 1 million three thousand three hundred copies published in 2006. Three television channels are in the country. Main strategic document of the government is named the Document of Strategy for the Reducing Poverty. After the implementation of this Document, the Poverty ratio is decreased from 85% to 65%. In 2005 the Government started to implement economic reforms Social Strategy of the Development (SSD) to achieve the development goals of Millennium. The representatives of the international financial institutes & organizations are working in the country like, WB, IMF, ADB, EC and UNDP. As main priorities Social Strategic Development indicates betterment in social sector.

FOREIGN INVESTMENT

Reforms of the governance management, development of private sector and attraction for foreign investments and development of the human potential are one of the basic priorities of the government. Foreign relations clarified by the policy of the open doors, as well as by the making of the security line around Tajikistan, relating to neutralization of the threats of international terrorism, religious extremism, and drug aggression, providing energy security, rescue the country from the communication blockage, and attraction of the foreign investment to solve the topical internal problems.

At present time in Tajikistan more than 50 huge state investment projects are being constructed in different fields costing more than 1 billion 358 million US $. 89.6 % of this amount is foreign investment. It indicates the favourable investment atmosphere and financial stability in the country. 140 million US $ of this amount has been given to Tajikistan in form of grant. Total volume of the state budget for 2007 is about 1 billion US $. According to the prediction of economic experts, the gross revenue product will reach 9 billion & 550 million Somonis (more than 3 billion US $) in the current fiscal year. It is expected that growth of the industry will increase 7.5% in this year, while the level of inflation is predicted 7%.

One of the important initiatives is reconstruction of the highway Dushanbe, Khudjand,Buston,Chanak & highway tunnel “Sharshar”, the start of the construction of Shahriston tunnel project (6300 meters), as well as floods blockade projects, construction of the electricity transmission lines East- North of 500 KV, and project of Lolazor- Khatlon 220 KV. Total cost of these projects is 639 billion US $ and it will be completed on favourable conditions by long term credit. Practically the implementation of all above projects has been started in the beginning of 2006 by the investment of China.

A huge strategic importance not only for Tajikistan but also for all states of Central & East Asian countries official beginning of the construction of Hydro Power Station Sungtuda – 2, and completion of first phase of construction of Hydro Power Station Suntuda 1 with the blocking of Wakhsh River by diverting it into the drainage tunnels. As well as the completion of the main works of highway tunnel Istiqlal. That has started second phase of modernization of route Dushanbe – Saritosh to exit for Kyrgyzstan. The forth bridge between Tajikistan & Afghanistan at the river of Punj has also been completed recently by the investment of Prince Karim Agha Khan & USA with the participation of constructors of Italy & Norway.

The start of the construction in the capital, modern five star hotels by the investment of Russia, Turkey, India, and Prince Karim Agha Khan. A big textile factory is also under construction for weaving 8000 tons of cotton yearly. The construction of multi residential buildings in the country has been started also.
In the frame of preparing works by the celebrations of 2700 of Kulyab city has been reconstructed the shrine complex of famous Tajik saint & poet Mir Syed Ali Hamdani.

The population of four neighbouring states in the near future will become eye witness of the construction of small & large Hydro Power Stations, high electricity transmission lines from Tajikistan to Afghanistan and Pakistan, from Tajikistan to Afghanistan and Iran, and establishing joint television channels for Tajik Persian speaking nations.

At present time participation of Russia, China, Iran, US and Qatar is most important for the implementation to boost the economic projects and positive initiatives for the development of Tajikistan.

By the using of rich natural reserves and the local intellectual potential in the future Tajikistan will become one of the Central Asian developed state.

Following is the message of Mr. Saidbeg B. Saidov, the Ambassador of the Republic of Tajikistan on the occasion of the 16th Independence Day of the Republic of Tajikistan.

Last year we hoped, that the bridge at Amu Darya should be open. This our hope has realized.

Now we hope that the relations between Tajikistan & Pakistan should become stronger and the people of the both countries to use this friendship bridge.
Let’s open the direct flight between Tajikistan and Pakistan as soon as possible.

Let’s the brotherly nation of Pakistan to hold their presidential & parliamentary forth-coming elections in the peaceful & stable atmosphere and national consensus.

Long live Tajikistan – Pakistan friendship.