Online International Roundtable on “30th Anniversary of the Establishment of Diplomatic Relations between the Republic of Kazakhstan and the Islamic Republic of Pakistan” jointly organized by Embassy of the Republic of Kazakhstan and Center for Global & Strategic Studies (CGSS), Islamabad

On 9th May 2022, an Online International Roundtable on “30th Anniversary of the Establishment of Diplomatic Relations between the Republic of Kazakhstan and the Islamic Republic of Pakistan” was held. The online discussion was jointly organized by Embassy of the Republic of Kazakhstan and Center for Global & Strategic Studies (CGSS), Islamabad.
The online discussion commenced with the welcome remarks by H.E Yerzhan Kistafin, Ambassador of the Republic of Kazakhstan to the Islamic Republic of Pakistan. He stated that CGSS team is working hard to bring both nations together. During the last 3 decades, both the countries have developed cordial relations and now they have excellent political dialogue. He discussed the regional developmental meetings, which are important for bilateral relations. He appreciated that the new government of Pakistan would have the same vision of developing cooperation between Pakistan and Kazakhstan. He discussed fundamental constitutional changes initiated by the President of Kazakhstan and explained the willingness to continue political reforms. He also highlighted major changes in the political agenda of Kazakhstan. He proposed three important dimensions for both countries to engage in cooperation and interactions which can help bring youth closer. Strengthening bilateral ties between Pakistan and Kazakhstan can result a game-changer for the entire region.
The theme of the first session was ‘’Main results of the 30th anniversary of bilateral cooperation & further prospects of political dialogue’’.
Prof. Dr. Shabir Ahmad Khan, Director, Area Study Centre (Russia China & Central Asia), University of Peshawar, Peshawar, shared his expert opinion with the audience. He congratulated the two brotherly countries on the 30th anniversary of bilateral relations and discussed technical, cultural, economic, and strategic relations of the last 3 decades between the two countries. He mentioned that enhanced connectivity, trade and economic cooperation would help in promoting bilateral relations between Kazakhstan and Pakistan. He explained that different Pakistani companies had been developed in Kazakhstan. Prof. Shabir also highlighted importance of academic, cultural and people-to people connectivity.
Dr. Zarmina Baloch, Assistant Professor, Shaheed Benazir Bhutto Women University, Peshawar discussed different diplomatic relations between Kazakhstan and Pakistan. She stated that both countries have common standings and many bilateral and political collaborations. Journey of mutual trust is gaining momentum, followed by these historic associations between both countries. She also stated that Kazakhstan is playing a vital role for enhancing strategic partnerships in the Central Asian region, especially with Pakistan. Thus, cultural diplomacy and people-to-people contacts must be enhanced.
The theme of the second session was ‘’Trade and economic cooperation: Status and prospects’’.
Ms. Lidiya Parkhomchik, Chief Researcher of the Eurasian Studies Program Institute of World Economics and Politics (IWEP) under the Foundation of the First President of the Republic of Kazakhstan N.A. Nazarbayev, Kazakhstan, stated that business-to-business contacts would significantly enhance trade between both countries. In this aspect, Pakistan’s Chamber of Commerce and Kazakhstan’s Foreign Chamber have signed business MOUs. She mentioned that Pakistan and Kazakhstan’s Ministry of trade had developed more than 100 goods in demand in the market of Pakistan and if we utilize this opportunity, bilateral relations can be enhanced. She stated that the banking and financial stability should be totally revised and the stock exchange of Pakistan and the trade development authority should cooperate for bilateral purposes to achieve desirable goals.
Ms. Ume Farwa, Research Associate, China-Pakistan Study Centre at the Institute of Strategic Studies Islamabad, Pakistan, explained Pakistan’s trade relations that has an excellent status with Kazakhstan. Vegetable products and chemicals have been the primary exports to Kazakhstan from Pakistan. In 2019, Kazakhstan ranked Pakistan 25th in terms of ease of doing business. She highlighted that Pakistan and Kazakhstan’s intergovernmental cooperation on trade and economic relations now includes environmental protection, civil engineering, economic activities, tourism and so on. She suggested removing barriers between both countries and utilize regional connectivity and the creation of free economic zones.
Mr. Abylay Asylkhan, Lead Expert, Economic Research Institute, Kazakhstan, stated that Pakistan is one of important strategic partners of Kazakhstan. He explained that in recent years, tourism has been enhanced. Both the countries should follow the bilateral trade and economic relations, which can help efficiently in bilateral relations. In this aspect, the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) is also very significant for promoting joint relations. He suggested that concrete steps have been taken by both the countries to foster regional cooperation.
The theme of the third session was ‘’People-to-People diplomacy: The Role of people's diplomacy in strengthening bilateral relations’’.
Mr. Ashfaq Ahmed Gondal, Vice President (Federal Region) CGSS & Former Federal Secretary, Government of Pakistan, discussed public diplomacy as it a wide subject and both countries must take significant initiatives to promote it. The student exchange programs and faculty exchange programs must be promoted between Kazakhstan and Pakistan. He also talked about increasing People-to-people contacts because when people have connections and relations, they have a powerful standing in democratic government. He suggested that the cricket matches between the people of both countries should be played and through cinema and movies people can be closer to know each other. He stated that sharing the religion with Kazakhstan is also an important aspect of connectivity.
Ms. Gauhar Khalilovna Beiseeva, Head of the International Relations Department, Foreign Policy Research Institute under the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Kazakhstan, stated that high-level contacts can create solid basis for bilateral relations. Economic and parliamentary relations are important and Kazakhstan and Pakistan’s trade must be increased. She stated that tourism, and scientific and academic cooperation are also important. History and cultural relations have old standing in both countries. She highlighted that cultural and socio-political contacts have been carried out and Kazakhstan has a positive experience in developing a partnership with other sister states. She stated that people to people diplomacy is developing moral and political grounds and they are important factors for developing closer ties between Pakistan and Kazakhstan.
The theme of the fourth session was ‘’Regional context in relations between Kazakhstan and Pakistan’’.
Mr. Usama Nizamani, Assistant Research Associate (ARA), Islamabad Policy Research Institute (IPRI), briefly talked about the US withdrawal and the role of the Taliban in the past few years and stated that food security and environmental disasters had increased the number of refugees. He mentioned that in recent years, China and Kazakhstan, have developed closer partnership. In Pakistan, CPEC has made a lot of progress. He explained that SCO, with Western partners, can come up to a decision to provide stable environment to curtail all challenges. It is important to see what kind of assistance can be given to the people of Afghanistan. He suggested that inviting investments under the prospect of joint ventures will allow Kazakhstan to work together and to explore more distant markets.
Mr. Murat Laumulin, Chief Research Fellow, Doctor of Political Sciences, Kazakhstan Institute for Strategic Studies under the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan relations between Kazakhstan and Pakistan in the context of regional cooperation. He also highlighted role of the military in Afghanistan and neighboring states. He stated that joint regional issues must be resolved with a common approach.
The theme of the fifth session was ‘’Parliamentary diplomacy in bilateral and multilateral cooperation’’.
Ms. Kaliyeva Elmira Abdykovna, Deputy Director of the Institute of Parliamentarism, Doctor of Law, stated that the main purpose of the Institute would be to provide services for preparing draft laws to the deputies of Parliament. She mentioned the current and strategic functions of the institute and the main activities for the upcoming work. She stated that Kazakhstan always tries to use research from different countries and formulate scientific concepts for the development of legislation. She discussed social problems, development of forecasts of possible economic, social, legal, environmental consequences of the law, Conducting sociological and expert surveys, and scientific substantiation of bills. She mentioned that the institute will carry out its activities on the basis of supporting bills and business processes.
Mr. Muhammad Rashid Mafzool Zaka, Senior Director General, Pakistan Institute for Parliamentary Services, discussed the importance of parliamentary diplomacy and stated that PIPS had four basic functions, including legislative services, help in technical systems in drafting bills. The second service includes research services to any member of the parliament on any topic or issue and it also provide roundtables on SDGs, foreign policies and so on. He mentioned the third huge domain which is parliamentary development, and many MOUs have been signed with different countries and international parliamentarians. He stated that PIPS was chosen as one of the panel members of parliamentary dialogue with other 8 institutes. He explained about parliamentary union of Pakistan and Kazakhstan and the prospects of close cooperation between the two countries.
The Online International Roundtable was concluded by signing of MoU between the Kazakhstan Institute of "Parliamentarism" and the Pakistan Institute of Parliamentary Service. The MoU was signed by Mr. Muhammad Anwar, Executive Director, Pakistan Institute of Parliamentary Services and Ms. Kaliyeva Elmira Abdykovna, Deputy Director of the Institute of Parliamentarism, Doctor of Law, Kazakhstan, on behalf of their respective institutions.
While giving the concluding remarks, H.E Yerzhan Kistafin, Ambassador of the Republic of Kazakhstan to the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, congratulated PIPS and the Institute of parliamentarism on signing the MOU and stated that both countries must take proactive steps for shared future and prosperity. He expressed a desire to organize a session of business communities that will result to forefront the business development of both countries. He discussed that after a number of consultations, we are planning to relaunch the direct flights. He also mentioned that Afghanistan is a crucial part of regional cooperation. He suggested that both states should exchange information on what should be done next for future collaboration.
The online international Roundtable was moderated by Ms. Laraib Fatima Hassan, Media & Communication Executive, CGSS. The conference was viewed live on various social media platforms and was attended by 45 participants, including academicians, scholars, and leading experts from Kazakhstan and Pakistan.

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