- Excellency, How supportive was the environment of Pakistan for you to conduct your diplomatic engagements?
Pakistan was among the first five countries that recognized our Independence, to be more precise – fourth – after Turkey, Romania and Russia.
I’m really pleased and honoured to serve as Kazakhstan Ambassador to Pakistan. For the above reason, but also because Pakistan was my first ever foreign country to serve as a diplomat.
- Mr Ambassador; In light of the tree plantation by President of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev during his first visit to Pakistan; how do you extend the growth of a tree to the relations of Kazakhstan and Pakistan?
In 1992, President of Kazakhstan, Nursultan Nazarbayev, during his first visit to Pakistan planted a tree at Shakarparian Park in Islamabad. During my first tenure, I would come to see the tree, it was quite young and small at that time. This time I visited the site and revealed how the tree has grown into a strong, tall and flourishing tree. I would compare that tree with the Pakistan-Kazakhstan relations – how they have developed from the moment, they were established until now.
- Do you think the ancient silk route was significant? Why would its revival be a landmark achievement?
Ancient trade routes along the Great Silk Way were crossing our regions, uniting, mutually enriching each other. After getting Independence trade and economic cooperation, cultural and scientific exchange, tourism was developing rapidly on a surge of enthusiasm and new opportunities. We have achieved a lot in our cooperation: Political cooperation is an exemplary one – mutual respect and understanding, Mutual visits of high officials, Military cooperation, particularly in peacekeeping – great interest for Kazakhstan experience of Pakistani training, deployment, operations and so on
- What can we know about the inter-governmental commission session held in February 2020?
Intergovernmental Commission session held a year ago – at the end of February 2020 – first after five years break. First-ever political consultations were held earlier this year – parties discussed global and regional agenda.
- Excellency; In the light of the current COVID situation, can you briefly examine the relation between Kazakhstan and Pakistan?
Due to global trends of various natures, our cooperation is not in a full span, it is not availing the full range of instruments and opportunities we have. In addition, nowadays Corona issue is slowing down our cooperation.
- Excellency, share your thoughts on the military of Pakistan? How do you think the Pakistani military can be a factor where both the states can extend their relations?
Pakistani military personnel are among the best in the world and we seek to share their experiences, including in peacekeeping operations. Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee Pakistan General Nadeem Raza’s visit to Kazakhstan is expected soon. His visit will help enhance defence cooperation in both countries. We are looking forward to serving in UN Peacekeeping Missions and Pakistan has vast experience here too.
- Excellency, what in your opinion should be the measures where both the states could have seized the opportunity to extend their relations?
We are grateful to Pakistan Government for its intention to revitalize the work and we will be supporting its efforts. Pakistan and Kazakhstan are eager to extend bilateral trade and contacts. Quadrilateral Transit and Transport agreement that took place between Pakistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and China would play a significant role in this regard.
It is the shortest land route from Pakistan to Kazakhstan and further on. Uzbekistan and Tajikistan are also showing their interest to join the Agreement if it happens it will promote regional integration, peace and stability.
- What are your thoughts on Quadrilateral Transit and Transport agreement?
This Quadrilateral Transit and Transport agreement will pave the ways for further developments, for instance, if we look towards Pakistan it is a vast market for Kazakhstan goods, predominantly grains and natural mineral resources. On the other hand, Kazakhstan is interested in agriculture produce, leather, textile and garments, pharmaceutical production, surgical instruments and in return Pakistan can find an attraction for these goods in Kazakhstan. Overall, to me, it is a win-win situation for both parties.
- Excellency; what do you think about the peace process in Afghanistan? Is a diplomatic solution possible for this never-ending war? Would the US withdrawal from Afghanistan ensure peace in the region?
Sustained peace in Afghanistan is very much needed for regional prosperity and long term stability. Only a diplomatic solution will lead towards the end of this never-ending war. There should be talks between the concerned parties to rid the Afghan people of this menace of war.
- Excellency, being a diplomat do you think that Pakistan’s initiative and its conduct in the Afghan peace process are considerable? What are your recommendations to Pakistan on this particular endeavour?
Pakistan played a key role in conducting the peace process. The role of Pakistan in a peaceful settlement cannot be overestimated. The situation in Afghanistan – improvement will help in routes, their diversification, the inclusion of Afghan people into the trade, cooperation and would be beneficial for all. We are working to raise awareness for businessmen – organising roadshows, business fora, B2B contacts, etc.
- Why has the state of Kazakhstan paid significant importance to the relations between neighbourly states?
A great role in the strengthening of this friendship is played by the leaders. From the very first day of our Independence our first president – Elbasy Nursultan Nazarbayev has been seeking good relations with all our neighbours, including in South Asia.
- Do you think economic interdependence between both Kazakhstan and Pakistan be achieved, to what extent can both the states provide each other with diversified markets?
Investments – need to promote. Though our both countries are more investments seeking states, but we have large scale business that could find out interesting fields for investing. We will keep working on that.
- Do you think CPEC provides Kazakhstan with an opportunity to invest and provides it with a wide market?
The part of BRI of China, Pak – CPEC, Needs to integrate efforts to promote regional trade, technical assistance, infrastructure development etc.
- Mr Ambassador; what impacts do you think would be brought by the tourist industry in strengthening the relations between both the states?
Both countries have a great number of natural tourist attractions which must be developed.
As long as the tourists from Pakistan are concerned, they can select Kazakhstan only when they know about our country and the sites there very well. For that more information sharing is required and direct flights are needed. If a direct flight is available, the Pakistani tourists will be astonished how early they can reach Kazakhstan like breakfast in Islamabad and Lunch in Kazakhstan.
- Do you think it’s the prime time for both the states to work on cultural exchange programs?
When it comes to Culture and education, we should ensure that students, artists, performers visit both countries. For Pakistani students, Kazakhstan was one of the favourite destinations, particularly for medical education, until a short ago, when one of our neighbours offered a better price. we are working on reducing the fee of medical students in our universities to attract more Pakistani students to our country. Moreover, this also includes scientific cooperation both in the framework of the COMSTECH and on a bilateral basis.
- Excellency; kindly brief us on the embassy’s working on a direct flight between two countries.
Re-establish direct flight between the two countries. Previously, it was 2 to 5 hours that I used to fly. Now it is 12 hours shortest. The Embassy is working on that.
- Mr Ambassador; Do you think Pakistan and Kazakhstan are growing up to the ideals of their forefathers?
I would compare Mr Nazarbayev with the father-founder of Pakistan Mohammed Ali Jinnah – Quaid-e-Azam. Both of them would have dreams about a sovereign, independent and successful country, both of them had a far-sighted and strategic mind and both of them succeeded in bringing their visions to reality. There are certain historical similarities – part of Pakistanis’ ancestors came from Central Asia and settled down here.