President Asif Ali Zardari arrived here on Thursday to attend the third quadrilateral summit of Tajikistan, Pakistan, Afghanistan and the Russian Federation. The President was warmly received by Tajik Minister for Water Resources Rehmat Bobokalonov, Pakistan's Ambassador to Tajikistan Amjad Sial and other senior officials at Dushanbe International Airport as he alighted from his special aircraft. President Zardari was accompanied by Defence Minister Chaudhry Ahmed Mukhtar, Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar and Minister for Petroleum and Natural Resources Dr Asim Hussain, APP reported.
The President in his arrival statement said that the important forum being attended by the presidents of Pakistan, Tajikistan, the Russian Federation and Afghanistan provided an opportunity for reflection of co-operation among the four countries in the fields of economy, trade, defence, security, energy, fight against narcotics and drugs and combating extremism and terrorism and trilateral consultations.
President Zardari said that Pakistan was looking forward to early establishment of air links and development of road and rail networks in the region connecting Central Asia to the seaports in Pakistan.
This will further enhance people-to-people contacts and tourism, the President added.
He said," CASA-1000 is the most important project in the realm of our regional energy cooperation and Pakistan is committed to its early implementation".
The President said that Pakistan and Tajikistan had excellent relations covering many areas of cooperation, particularly in trade, economy, defence, security, education, investment, energy and human resource development.
The President said that Pakistan and Tajikistan were facing similar regional challenges and "our region is infested with poverty, unemployment, underdevelopment and lack of economic opportunities and all these challenges have led our region to an abyss where militancy nourishes".
The President said that Pakistan and Tajikistan relationship was a natural union of brotherhood and "friendship between our governments and of mutual respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity".
He said Pakistan and Tajikistan had similar perception and approach towards regional and international issues. " Our governments are determined to provide a better future to our generations and we are looking towards that end," the President said.
He said both the countries were looking forward to working together to make the region a safe, secure and prosperous place for future generations.
From the airport, President Zardari left for the presidential palace to hold a bilateral meeting with his Tajik counterpart.