By Ali Imran
ISLAMABAD: Ambassador of Kazakhstan Yerzhan Kistafin on Thursday said direct air flights between Kazakhstan and Pakistan would start in May 2023, which would strengthen the economic connectivity between the two countries. The direct flights between Lahore and Almaty would not only increase economic ties, but also the people-to-people contacts, he said during a meeting with Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Minister for Commerce and Industries Adnan Jalil here at his office.
The ambassador said it would promote tourism in both countries, which would further advance their relations. Both Pakistan and Kazakhstan were among the most beautiful countries and the tourism industry could become the wheel of their economies, he added. Ambassador Kistafin said the Turkestan region of Kazakhstan and the Northern Areas of Pakistan were among the most beautiful regions of the world. Events would be held during the current year to promote tourism in Kazakhstan-Turkestan, and Pakistan could also benefit from the opportunities on that count, he added.
He said business communities and chambers could play an role in enhancing bilateral trade relations between Kazakhstan and Pakistan.
Last year, he said, “we organized a single country business exhibition in which businessmen from Pakistan also participated.”
This year, he said, a Pakistani business delegation would visit Kazakhstan. He would soon visit Peshawar and interact with the business community , he added.
The ambassador said being a gateway to Central Asia, Peshawar was very important for mutual trade between Pakistan and Kazakhstan. There was a need to further strengthen the economic and trade relations between Peshawar and the areas of Central Asia.
KP Minister Adnan Jalil said Pakistan’s economic and trade links with Central Asia were very important.
He said the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province was close to the Central Asian states, due to which they had some cultural compatibility. “We have centuries-old relations with Central Asia and trade caravans used to travel between the two regions.”
He said the KP government would play its due role in strengthening economic and trade ties between Pakistan and Kazakhstan.