ASHGABAT: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Saturday underlined the need for enhanced regional integration and connectivity to reap the dividend of peace.
“China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) project has recently been launched which will go a long way in facilitating connectivity in the region,” he said while addressing the International Conference on Turkmenistan’s Permanent Neutrality in Ashgabat.
He said Pakistan is also supporting other regional energy and infrastructure projects including the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) gas pipeline project, CASA 1000 and connectivity projects with Afghanistan.
Nawaz Sharif said Pakistan attached great priority to the TAPI project. The project had the potential to spur growth to change the economic landscape.
The prime minister said Pakistan sought peace, progress and prosperity for all and determined to pursue the course of dialogue for resolution of outstanding disputes. He said he believed that shared prosperity was the real prosperity.
About relations with Turkmenistan, he said Pakistan was amongst the few countries that recognized Turkmenistan as a sovereign and independent state.
He reaffirmed unflinching support to the permanent neutrality of Turkmenistan.
Addressing the conference, Afghan President Ashraf Ghani said a peaceful and stable Afghanistan was in the interest of whole region.
In his address, Uzbek President Islam Karimov called for collective efforts to combat challenges of terrorism.
Earlier, upon arrival of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, he was received by deputy prime minister of Turkmenistan at the airport.
During his stay, PM Nawaz Sharif would also participate in the ground breaking ceremony of TAPI gas pipeline project along the president of Afghanistan and Turkmenistan and vice president of India.
The visit would highlight the importance that Pakistan attaches to the TAPI Gas Pipeline Project and the commitment to its early completion. Pakistan will be able to import 1325 mmcfd natural gas from Turkmenistan. Thus, this project will help in mitigating energy deficit in the country.
In his bilateral interactions with the Turkmen President, the prime minister will share Pakistan’s perspective on important developments impinging on peace and security in the region and reiterate Pakistan’s keen desire to sustain and expand bilateral cooperation with Turkmenistan in trade, energy and defence. He will also hold a bilateral meeting with the president of Turkey.