ISLAMABAD: Leaders of Pakistan and Turkmenistan have signed eight accords on cooperation including an MoU on financial intelligence to curb money laundering and terrorism financing.
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said that Pakistan was committed to early completion of Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) gas pipeline project, considering it a new chapter in economic collaboration and greater regional integration with Central Asia.
In a joint media stakeout after a delegation-level talks and earlier holding one-on-one meeting, both the President of Turkmenistan Gurbanguly Berdimuhammadov and Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif were of the view that threat of extremism and terrorism needed to be countered collectively to ensure peace and stability in the region.
President Berdimuhammadov said both the countries were facing common challenges and “combating common threats is our goal. Sharif said both Pakistan and Turkmenistan had good coordination and would continue to work together for regional and international peace and security.
Sharif said the deep seaports provide shortest route to the Arabian Sea to Turkmenistan and other Central Asian States. “We will be happy to see our brothers in Central Asia using these facilities,” he said.
The prime minister said regional connectivity was an important pillar of Pakistan’s Vision 2025, aimed at making the country a hub of regional trade and commerce. “We are closely working with Turkmenistan for improving infrastructure development for better regional connectivity,” he added.
He said it would be conducive to the promotion of economic relations, people to people contacts and tourism. Sharif termed the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) a “mega-energy cooperation project in the region. He said it would greatly help Pakistan in mitigating the shortage of natural gas in Pakistan.
President Berdimuhamedov said the early completion of the Tapi gas pipeline project would not only solidify the relations between all the participating countries, but also create new opportunities.
“The gas line will bring warmth and cordiality, and generate economic activity, create job opportunities and improve the living standards,” President Berdimuhamedov said. He said the Tapi had a great impetus to boost socio-economic cooperation and hoped the project would soon be implemented.
He said the two countries also had great cooperation in culture, science and education, relations dating back to centuries, and a desire to reach out to the people in neighbouring countries.
Sharif recalled inking of the MoU with Turkmenistan and Afghanistan for import of 1000MW of electricity from Turkmenistan and said it would help the country reduce its energy deficit.