Islamabad, 30 September 2023 (TDI): News and Analysis of South Asia (NHS) Media conducted an interview with Yerzhan Kistafin, Ambassador of Kazakhstan to Pakistan.

During the interview, which was taken on September 13, he emphasized key aspects of the bilateral relations between Pakistan & Kazakhstan.

Yerzhan Kistafin said that the political discourse has taken a very positive direction. He said that interaction between both state governments and bilateral trade both have room for expansion.

Pakistan and Kazakhstan have improved cooperation in a number of areas, such as cultural linkages and sports diplomacy. With complementary strengths on both sides, there is a tremendous opportunity for cooperation.

NHS Media asked if China has initiated numerous projects worth billions of dollars in Kazakhstan, do Kazakhstan view the BRI as a way to strengthen ties in the region?

Yerzhan Kistafin responded that, indeed, regional connectivity is crucial, and both Kazakhstan and Pakistan have significant roles to play.

Kazakhstan has historically served as a bridge connecting East and West, and they aim to enhance this role through Transit and Export potential.

Kazakhstan was focused on international transport corridors, such as the Trans-Caspian and North-South Corridors, said the Ambassador.

President Xi Jinping announced the BRI idea ten years ago during his visit to Kazakhstan, and both Kazakhstan and Pakistan are integral parts of the BRI.

The potential for interconnected projects is substantial, and such connectivity would benefit not only these two countries but also the entire region.

NHS Media questioned if Pakistan has a large youth population, approximately 65%. How can the youth in both countries collaborate and engage more actively?

Yerzhan Kistafin answered that he had seen many Pakistani students graduate from their universities, mainly in medical fields. They were also promoting sports diplomacy, with athletes and players visiting each other’s countries regularly.

Additionally, they were exploring opportunities to establish martial arts academies in Pakistan, fostering people-to-people ties. These interactions help the youth to understand each other’s countries better, the Ambassador added.

About the Transit and Trade Agreement between Pakistan and Kazakhstan, he reiterated that negotiations began in 2021, and both states hope to sign it by the end of the year 2023.

This agreement will provide a legal framework to boost bilateral trade. It’s essential to create trust and facilitate more information sharing between their business communities, enunciated the Ambassador

Kazakhstan invited Pakistani companies to explore business and investment opportunities in Kazakhstan, and vice versa. Kazakhstan’s goal was to build bridges and connect our nations for mutual benefit.

Also Read: Ambassador of Kazakhstan welcomes investors from Pakistan

The question of the interview was about academic collaborations between universities in Pakistan and Kazakhstan, to which the Ambassador responded that both sides have been working on establishing direct ties between their universities.

In this vein, leading Pakistani universities have signed multiple memoranda of understanding with the universities of Kazakhstan.

The Ambassador was planning to arrange visits of Pakistani universities to Kazakhstan to further develop academic cooperation.

NHS Media also raised the question about military collaboration between Kazakhstan and Pakistan, particularly in countering terrorism.

Military cooperation is well-developed, and Pakistan’s experience in counterterrorism is valuable, responded Yerzhan Kistafin. They regularly conduct joint drills and exchange visits between their defense universities.

This cooperation extends to areas like military-technical collaboration, with the potential for enhancing ties in the defense industry. NHS Media asked what message the Ambassador would like to convey to the people of Pakistan.

Yerzhan Kistafin said that he would like to emphasize that Kazakhstan and Pakistan share a deep bond as brotherly nations. They have immense potential for collaboration, and time to rekindle and strengthen their relations.

By working together, the two can connect our region, foster economic growth, and create a successful future for both nations and the entire region, said by Ambassador.

Also Read: Pakistan, Kazakhstan keen on strengthening bilateral trade

At the end of the interview, the Ambassador concluded his remarks by adding that positive political dialogue and good relations have developed between Pakistan and Kazakhstan.

Kazakhstan aims to play a role as a bridge connecting East and West as both Kazakhstan and Pakistan are integral parts of the BRI.

Kazakhstan sees potential for collaboration in sectors like agriculture, tourism, and mining. Pakistan’s focus on digital transformation centers aligns with Kazakhstan’s IT sector development.

Both countries aim to connect the region and foster economic growth through collaboration. Building trust and information sharing are crucial for enhancing economic ties, he said.