21 July 2024 / 13:18 RU

    Pakistan's Ambassador to Kazakhstan: This pandemic can only be defeated through co-ordinated and consistent efforts

    On the eve of the main holiday of Pakistan - Independence Day (14th of August) Kazinform correspondent recorded interview with Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary Ambassador of Pakistan to Kazakhstan Imtiaz Ahmad Kazi. Here is the full text of the talk. 

    Dear Mr. Ambassador, let me express my gratitude for the opportunity to interview you. Let me start with the traditional question, how do you observe today's Kazakhstan-Pakistan relationships?

    Thank you very much for allowing me to interact with your esteemed media on the eve of our 74th Independence Day that falls on 14th August every year. Pakistan and Kazakhstan enjoy cordial and brotherly relations that are bound by our common values, geography, history and culture. Our relations are based on common approach towards world issues as well as mutual understanding and goodwill for each other.

    Pakistan was among the first few countries which recognized Kazakhstan when it attained independence in December 1991. Diplomatic relations between the two countries were established in 1992. Almost all Heads of State and Government of Pakistan visited Kazakhstan during last three decades. Last year, our Speaker of the National Assembly and Deputy Chairman of the Senate visited Nur-Sultan to participate in the Fourth Meeting of Speakers of Eurasian Countries’ Parliaments.

    Under the leadership of Prime Minister Imran Khan, our government intends to further enhance our relations to new heights. We are glad that the first ever Bilateral Political Consultations (BPC) and the 9th Session of Intergovernmental Joint Commission (IJC) were held in Islamabad in February this year. Now, we are working together with Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Kazakhstan on implementation of the decisions made during these meetings. Besides, our countries cooperate with each at multilateral forums such as UN, OIC, SCO and CICA.

    Our bilateral trade has witnessed a large increase from just US$ 35 million in 2016 to US$ 115 million in 2019. There is a huge potential to increase it to the tune of US$ one billion.

    Pakistan provides a natural link to connect the Eurasian heartland with the Arabian Sea and South Asia. We offer the critical overland routes and connectivity for mutually beneficial trade and energy transaction between Kazakhstan and South Asia.

    Kazakhstan’s transformation from lower-middle-income to upper-middle-income status is a model to be followed upon for other regional countries. Kazakhstan’s role for peace in the region and beyond is well recognized. Kazakhstan owes its political stability and economic progress to its leadership, the First President Nursultan Nazarbayev and President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev.

    The initiative of the Universal Declaration for the Achievement of a Nuclear-Weapons-Free World is remarkable for world’s peace. We admire Kazakhstan’s leadership for nuclear non-proliferation and nuclear disarmament. We also commend Kazakhstan’s role for criteria based approach for NSG membership. We are also glad to see Kazakhstan’s support for the Muslims under oppression at the OIC’s platform.

    ­­­­­Mr. Ambassador, most people on our planet today are disturbed by the COVID-19 pandemic. Unfortunately, people are dying and the disease continues to spread at a high rate. Could you tell us what is the epidemiological situation in Pakistan? How does the population observe quarantine, what specific aspects of the fight against coronavirus would you mention in Kazakhstan?

    As COVID-19 pandemic rages on an unprecedented global scale, Pakistan has achieved significant success in the fight against this pandemic. The situation has improved tremendously because the government formulated a clear strategy which was implemented by the administrative machinery of the slot. As of 10 August 2020, the total active cases were less than 17,000 with 90% recovery rate. This being the recovery rate amongst a total of approximately 300,000 infected cases, Pakistan is among a handful of countries where cases of Covid-19 have dropped considerably in the recent weeks. The peak was reached in mid-June.

    The National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) of Pakistan worked as a «nerve centre» reviewing the situation on a daily basis and this achievement could not be possible without the cooperation of the people. International observers and entities admit that they can learn from what has happened in Pakistan. At the same time, we are cognizant of the fact that the threat has not gone away fully and it is too early to declare a victory against COVID-19.

    Let me admit that Kazakhstan’s success to grapple COVID-19 pandemic is also remarkable. Due to government’s strategy and effective implementation, there are positive trends and successful results. Kazakhstan was able to meet the challenges posed by the pandemic through continuous monitoring, transparency and cooperation. In this regard, people of Kazakhstan deserve salute for their spirit of unity, discipline and follow up on government’s guidelines.

    This pandemic can only be defeated through co-ordinated and consistent efforts and at global level cooperation. The COVID-19 vaccines, treatment and tests be patent-free, mass produced, distributed fairly and made available to all the people in all the countries, free of charge so that developed and developing countries can, in shortest possible time get rid of this pandemic. We are also happy that we were able to provide, as a token of modest contribution, some medicines for the brotherly people of Kazakhstan on this occasion. 

    We shall hope that the quarantine will end soon and people will return to their previous lives. Mr. Ambassador, are there any plans to launch direct air service between our countries?

    We are eager to launch direct flights between Pakistan and Kazakhstan. Our national flag carrier- Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) has shown interest in resuming direct flights between the two countries. The direct connectivity will help enhance people-to-people contacts, tourism and bilateral trade in the days ahead.

    We are also grateful for the cooperation of the Government of Kazakhstan, for our national carrier PIA’s special flight that operated from Islamabad to Almaty on 29th June. The flight took 96 Pakistani nationals and their family members to Pakistan. This flight also brought 14 Kazakh nationals from Pakistan to Kazakhstan. We are witnessing increase in number of Pakistani students in Kazakhstan who wish to pursue higher education, especially in the field of medicine in Kazakhstan. 

    On the regional security agenda remains the problem of security in Afghanistan, how does Islamabad see the situation in this country today?

    Pakistan desires a peaceful, stable, democratic, prosperous and united Afghanistan, at peace with itself and with its neighbours. Pakistan hopes that all concerned parties in Kazakhstan will make sincere efforts for peace and reconciliation in Afghanistan. Pakistan, on its part, remains fully committed to support the Afghan Peace Process.

    Pakistan has always supported the «Afghan-led, Afghan-owned» peace process and reconciliation and believes that inclusive Intra-Afghan negotiations are the only way to realize the Afghan national reconciliation, leading to prompt end of the prolonged conflict. With the latest understandings reached between the sides, we are very hopeful that things will improve in our western neighbourhood.

    We desire that all Afghan ethnic groups and strata, including Taliban to launch the Intra-Afghan negotiations as soon as possible. We pay close attention to the follow-up and developments about the exit of foreign troops from Afghanistan and want troops’ withdrawal in an orderly and responsible manner so that the situation in Afghanistan attains a steady transition. 

    Mr. Ambassador, what is your formula for personal success? What can you advise young Kazakhstanis on the way to their career heights?

    Personal success depends on personal traits, habits, work ethics and grooming mostly of a person. However, all these elements are groomed, refined, supplemented and strengthened by the outward influences which come from the parents, teachers, peers and the society in general. The best practices and values that the world religions including Islam, our eastern values of millennia combined with modern developments and innovations of science, technology and communications harness our daily lives in a certain manner and contribute to our success.

    Today’s youth in Kazakhstan, as I see it, is vibrant, dynamic, energetic, enterprising and ambitious. They have the necessary wherewithal in the shape of best educational institutes and entities within their own country and abroad (Bolashak Program) that has brought them at par with modern, educated and actively exerting youth anywhere else in the world. They form a significant number of population of a young nation with a responsible leadership and prospects of a promising future.

    Rukhany Zhangyru is another source to trace back the historical truths and wisdom of these great people of the Steppe who are the inheritors of Al-Farabi, Abai and Zhambyl’s heritage. Last year was celebrated as the Year of Youth in Kazakhstan. My only advice would be for the young generation here, to apply their potential and talents fully for the development and prosperity of this great country which has the resources and means to achieve further heights. Some important initiatives have been taken by the Elbasy Nursultan Nazarbayev, the First President, in the past 30 years which have brought Kazakhstan out as an important member of the international community and played a significant role in the development of this region and contributed positively towards the global peace and security. Carry on this torch high and be a role model for the youth in the region and beyond! 


    21 August 2020 / 12:35