ISLAMABAD: Ambassador Republic of Tajikistan Sherali S. Jononov said on Thursday that his country is prepared to help Pakistan to overcome water crisis as well to meet its energy requirements.
Addressing a news conference here at his embassy, he said” the two countries could work together to improve the living conditions of their people. The Tajik government, he said has invited Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to attend the sixth world conference on the implementation of the international decade for action “water for life”, 2005-2015, which is scheduled to take place in Dushanbe on June 9-11.
He said they were expecting Pakistan’s high-level participation in the conference which will provide an opportunity to discuss and solve the water crisis. He hoped their Pakistani friends will avail the opportunity to develop bilateral and regional cooperation for addressing their common problems.
He expressed his pleasure that 16 Pakistani companies and NGOs have already shown their interest to attend this high-profile event. Besides the world leaders, the conference will also be addressed by the UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon.
Ambassador Jononov called for better water management and development of water resources to overcome the water shortage. Tajikistan which ranks the first in Central Asia in terms of water resources could be a best partner of Pakistan in the water and energy sector.
His country, he further said attached great importance to early completion of CASA-1000 project, which would enable Pakistan to import 1,000 MW of electricity fromTajikistan to meet its growing energy needs.
The work on this project will start within next four to five months, and it will be completed by the year, 2018. The proposed CASA-1000 electricity transmission system will help transform the region and signify an important step toward realizing the planned Central Asia-South Asia Regional Electricity Market (CASAREM). The CASA-1000 Project was a dream which has now turned into reality, he added.
The project, aimed at easing energy shortages in Pakistan and utilising surplus power in Tajikistan, has the backing of the United States and World Bank, which has approved millions of dollars in financing to execute the programme.
Pakistan is Tajikistan’s closest neighbour in Central Asia. It is located at the confluence of South and Central Asia and is a gateway to the CIS region, which he said could be a natural business partner of Pakistan.
He recalled Prime Minister Nawaz’s visit to Tajikisan last year and said it proved very fruitful in further developing their bilateral ties. Now their bilateral trade has reached to dollar 100 million, and the balance of trade is mostly in favour ofPakistan, he added.