New Kazakhstan envoy plan to diversify relations with Pakistan

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Trade, tourism, communication links with Pakistan need to be revitalized

Zubair Qureshi
A day after presenting his credentials to President Dr Arif Alvi, Ambassador of Kazakhstan Akan Rakhmetullin on Thursday held a press briefing and put forward his plans to actively pursue various areas of mutual cooperation with Pakistan including trade, tourism, energy, infrastructure development and many others.
This is Akan Rakhmetullin’s second diplomatic assignment in Pakistan as he has lived and enjoyed life in Islamabad for two years (1994-96) some twenty-five years ago. The ambassador said at that time he was in Pakistan on his first diplomatic assignment and as the saying goes first love and first posting are never forgotten, “I still cherish the memories of the days when I used to learn Urdu in ‘NIML’ located in Blue Area at that time.”
The ambassador in his maiden press briefing also impressed the journalists’ community with his command of Urdu language and even replied to them in Urdu language. The ambassador highlighted significance of Aug 29 the International Day Against Nuclear Tests— a declaration proposed by Kazakhstan and universally adopted by the United Nations in 2009—saying Kazakhstan celebrates the day with commitment to absolve the world of nuclear weapons. Our First President Nursultan Nazarbayev after independence of the country in 1991 on Aug 29 declared the test site in Semipalatinsk closed to further testing. Aug 29 is the same date when Soviet Union conducted its first nuclear tests back in 1949.
To a question on military escalation between India and Pakistan, Kazakh envoy said who else could know better than Kazakhstan the negative consequences of a nuclear test/war.
It brings in its wake death, disease and destruction. He called for restraint and mitigation of tensions between the two nuclear armed states. Kashmir issue he said needed to be resolved according to the resolutions of the United Nations.
About the new President of Kazakhstan, Kassym-Jomart Tokayev’s historic State of the Nation address setting priorities for the new government, he said the new president has assured social security benefits to the citizens of Kazakhstan, their security and development, economic opportunities as well equal opportunities to small and medium sized businesses. Support for national businesses in international markets, developed agricultural industry, fair taxation and uniform financial regulations are also among the top priority agenda of the new leadership.
Medical coverage and housing benefits for the citizens also feature in his address. While replying to a question, Ambassador said he was looking forward to restoring communication links and exploiting trade and tourism opportunities between Pakistan and Kazakhstan and will hold meetings with stakeholders at the earliest.