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  Ambassador's Statement on the occasion of the Defence & Martyrs Day reception on 12 September 2018 at  Rixos President Hotel, Astana  
  H.E. Major General Turaly Khamitovich Koishykulov
Honourable Deputy Command-in-Chief of Air Defence Forces of the Armed of the Republic of Kazakhstan.
Distinguished Excellencies and their spouses,
Dear Defence Attachées of the Diplomatic Corps,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

Assalam-o-Alaikum, Good Evening ‘Dobriy Vecher’

I feel honoured that the Diplomatic Corps and dignitaries from the host country have gathered here this evening to participate in the celebrations of our Defence Day and to honour the Martyrs of our brave nation majority of whom have lost their lives in the fight against terrorism over the two decades.  I am especially grateful the honourable Major General Turaly Khamitovich Koishykulov who has spared his time to be with us this evening. On behalf of myself, my embassy colleagues I welcome you all. As most of you know, Pakistan has made great sacrifices over the years, both by its valiant armed forces and a resilient nation of 207 million people. We started observing this Day while defending our country way back in 1965- almost 53 years ago. Defence and Martyrs Day marks the heroic efforts of the brave sons and daughters of our country who stood firm to defend our motherland against aggression.

Distinguished guests,

I have assumed my responsibilities in the Mission less than a month ago. This occasion provides me an opportunity to refresh our warm relations with the Republic of Kazakhstan. Pakistan and Kazakhstan enjoy cordial and brotherly relations which are strengthened by our shared faith, common values, geographical proximity, history and culture. Pakistan was the amongst the first countries which recognized the newly emerging states in Central Asia in early 1992.  We cherish the memories of the first visit by President Nursultan Nazarbayev in Islamabad in 1993 as well as his subsequent visit. Last year, our two countries celebrated the 25 years of establishment of diplomatic relations. I am glad that our two countries established the mechanism of Inter-governmental Commission which has held eight round over the years and deepened bilateral cooperation in various fields such as investment, transport, communications, agriculture, industry, energy, healthcare, environmental protection, information & broadcasting, civil aviation, tourism and training. Our two countries have also concluded agreement to hold Bilateral Political Consultations, four years ago a Memorandum was also signed for Pakistan-Kazakhstan Joint Business Council.

In the field of connectivity Pakistan, China, Kyrgyz Republic and Kazakhstan signed the Quadrilateral Agreement for traffic in Transit (QTTA) i March 1995. The Agreement came in force in May 2004 and traffic in transit is in operation since then.  We welcome the interest shown by the Republic of Kazakhstan to join China-Pakistan Economic Corridor- the signal venture of the OBOR initiative which is bound to provide rail link as well as great sea opening through Gwadar to our brothers from Central Asia.

While Pakistan leadership has had the opportunity to be in Astana on the occasions of Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) Summit in 2017 where we became full members of this regional entity thanks to the constant and robust support of the Republic of Kazakhstan. It was in Astana that we had joined SCO as Observer in 2005.  Our President attended the first OIC Summit on Science & Technology in Astana last year. Likewise we welcomed the high level delegations from Astana to Islamabad on the occasion of the Heart of Asia Conference on Afghanistan in December 2015 and at the 13th ECO Summit in March 2017.

Our two countries enjoy excellent relations at international forae such as the UN Offices in New York and Geneva, OIC, SCO, ECO, and WTO. Pakistan deeply appreciates the positive role of Kazakhstan especially as non-permanent member of UN Security Council member for conflict resolution and promotion of peace around the globe.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

As regards defence cooperation between our two counties, there have been regular exchanges of visitors at senior military levels. Many Kazakhstan officers and cadets have received military education in various prestigious Pakistani military institutions such as National Defence University, Command and Staff College, Pakistan Military Academy and Pakistan Naval Academy.

We have institutionalized Military Cooperation mechanism. With the establishment of Ministry of Defence and Aerospace Industry, new opportunities of collaboration in Defence equipment production could be explored.

Coming back to the observance of defence day, let me pay our tributes to the armed forces of Pakistan and other Law enforcement agencies who have always shown outstanding professional capabilities and capacity during wars and as well as peace. Based on our unwavering commitment, decisive operations by our valiant armed forces have eliminated terrorism and brought peace in our country. Pakistan has achieved unmatched successes in fighting terrorism although at a cost of 75,000 lives of civilians and servicemen and a loss to the economy to the tune of 130 billion USD. Yet we are determined to continue fighting this menace so that it does not spread to other parts of the world.

Before conclusion, let me convey that the newly elected leadership in Pakistan including our President His Excellency Dr. Arif Alvi who was elected last week and Prime Minister Imran Khan who was elected last month desires to further improve relations with all our neighboring countries, contribute in conflict resolution and especially bringing peace to Afghanistan. Being located at the crossroads of Central Asia, South Asia and West Asia, promotion and expansion of our historic relations with governments and the peoples of Central Asia including the brotherly people of the Republic of Kazakhstan is high on the agenda of the new government.

I thank you all





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Dr. Imtiaz Ahmad Kazi
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