PM: (PM stresses regional connectivity)

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, who is currently in Astana, has shared his vision of establishing energy and trade corridors with Central Asian states. The prime minister said Pakistani ports provide the shortest route to sea for the Central Asian Republics.

He said Pakistan is eager to see a prosperous Central Asia with all countries connected by rail, road and air links and generating business. He said despite enormous economic complementarities, bilateral trade between Pakistan and Kazakhstan was below the actual potential.

He said visa policy needed to be liberalized to gain maximum advantages in bilateral trade. He called for further strengthening of bilateral ties between Pakistan and Kazakhstan in diverse areas, particularly trade, energy and infrastructure.

He said Pakistan wants to have good relations with all its neighbours, including India. About Afghanistan, Nawaz Sharif said, the two countries also support an inclusive Afghan-led and Afghan-owned reconciliation process.

Talking about terrorism, the Prime Minister said Zarb-e-Azb operation against all terrorist groups without distinction had yielded positive results. Kazakh Prime Minister Karim Massimov thanked Pakistan for supporting his country at all international fora.

He said Kazakhstan would like to join the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor project as it would provide an alternative route to it for access to sea.

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