Pak-Tajik relations on the move

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Ansar Mahmood Bhatti

General Raheel Sharif , Chief of the Army Staff visited Tajikistan on February 29, 2016 on the invitation the Tajik leadership . He discussed bilateral and regional issues with the Tajik leadership and met senior defence and political leaders. In addition, he also met the President of Tajikistan Emomali Rahmon.

Both Pakistan and Tajikistan share the same views and concerns in terms of regional and global security and have worked closely towards this end. Pakistan and Tajikistan enjoy excellent relations in all fields and leaderships of both countries have always shown a keen desire to further strengthen these relations. Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif had visited Tajikistan recently and likewise the Tajik president also visited Pakistan. Apart from military sphere, both countries are cooperating with each other in other fields also such as trade, economy and especially the energy sector.

CASA 1000 is a landmark project between the two countries, which after completion in 2018 will adequately address the energy needs of Pakistan. Through this line, electricity will reach Peshawar via Afghanistan. It is essentially a 1300 MW project and in case Afghanistan is not interested in buying 300 MW, Pakistan has already conveyed its willingness to buy the additional 300 MW also. The security of this transmission line is of utmost importance for leaderships of both countries, an aspect that receives special emphasis whenever the high-ups meet.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and President Emomali Rahmon during their last meeting in Pakistan, resolved to deal with an iron hand the menace of terrorism. Army Chief’s recent visit to Tajikistan is significant and appears a continuation of the dialogue process to reinforce this resolve of both two sides. Pakistan earnestly desires to secure its borders in order to prevent cross border infiltrations which is the that is why it continually employs all channels to address the issue effectively.

On business front too, cooperation between the two countries continues to expand. Last year Pakistani businessmen held a “Made in Pakistan” expo in Dushanbe that attracted huge crowds. After the success of that expo another Pakistani business enterprise has planned a similar exhibition in the coming months. Similarly, businessmen from Tajikistan have also shown interest to visit Pakistan with various projects. The Ambassador of Tajikistan in Pakistan Sherali Jononov aptly deserves kudos for all his tireless efforts to bring quantum improvement in the bilateral relations.

Nanga Parbat scaled for first time in winter

Mountaineers from Pakistan, Spain and Italy have accomplished a historic feat when they made the first winter ascent of Nanga Parbat. Ali Sadpara (Pakistan) Alex Txikon (Spain) and Simone Moro (Italy) made history after repeated attempts to scale Nanga Parbat in previous years had failed. With the fierce reputation of Nanga Parbat, this team deserves all the praise and congratulations for taking this outstanding place in the mountaineering history.

At 8,126 metres (26,660 feet) Nanga Parbat is the world’s ninth highest mountain. It earned its nickname of ‘killer mountain’ after more than 30 climbers died trying to conquer it before the first successful summit in 1953 in addition to claiming a number of mountaineers later also. Along with K-2, Nanga Parbat was among the last of the 14 eight-thousanders which had not been climbed in winter.

Mountaineering is one of the most challenging pursuits which is highly risky and yet very thrilling for the mountaineers. This achievement is even more special for us because it includes a Pakistani, Ali Sadpara who also played a very crucial role in the ascent of being part of the advance party that carried supplies to Camp 3 at 6,700 meters a month before the attempt began. He and other mountaineers from northern areas have brought laurels to the country including siblings Samina Baig and Mirza Ali, who have scaled seven peaks in seven continents.