The Pakistan-Tajikistan Strategic Partnership

During the recent visit of Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif to Tajikistan, a series of memorandums of understanding and agreements were signed.

During the recent visit of Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif to Tajikistan, a series of memorandums of understanding and agreements were signed, marking a significant step forward in the relationship between Pakistan and Tajikistan. These agreements encompass various fields such as aviation, diplomacy, education, sports, social relations, industrial cooperation, and tourism, showcasing a broad spectrum of mutual cooperation. Furthermore, the visit highlighted both countries’ coordination on several international issues, underlining a commitment to a deeper and more strategic partnership.

The meeting between Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif and Tajik President Imam Ali Rahmanov, followed by a joint press conference, underscored the desire to enhance cooperation in diverse sectors. Notably, one of the major agreements signed during this visit is the exemption of visas for the passports of Pakistan and Tajikistan. This development is expected to facilitate easier movement and strengthen people-to-people connections between the two nations. Such an initiative is likely to encourage more tourism, cultural exchanges, and business travel, fostering a closer bond at the grassroots level.

A strategic partnership agreement was also signed, aimed at transforming the foreign relations between Pakistan and Tajikistan into a long-term strategic partnership. This agreement is poised to create new opportunities for bilateral cooperation and deepen the strategic ties between Islamabad and Dushanbe. This long-term vision will likely translate into sustained collaborative projects and shared investments, boosting the economies of both countries.

Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif took the opportunity to inform President Rahmanov about the deteriorating human rights situation in Occupied Jammu and Kashmir and the attempts by India to alter the region’s demographic structure. The two leaders also voiced their concerns over Israeli aggression and the severe human rights violations in Gaza, emphasizing the need for the international community to intensify efforts to establish peace in the region. By discussing these international issues, Pakistan and Tajikistan demonstrated their commitment to addressing global human rights concerns and contributing to peace and stability in conflict-affected areas.

During the joint press conference, Prime Minister Sharif highlighted the potential for enhancing investment in various sectors. He noted that the current volume of trade between Pakistan and Tajikistan does not adequately reflect the close relations between the two countries. He proposed setting annual targets to boost trade volumes and expressed his willingness to work with President Rahmanov to increase cooperation in agriculture, industry, investment, and trade. This proactive approach to boosting trade can lead to more significant economic benefits for both countries, encouraging more business ventures and joint economic projects.

Prime Minister Sharif also discussed the ongoing transportation of goods from Karachi port to Tajikistan through Afghanistan, emphasizing the need to strengthen the road and rail networks between Pakistan and Tajikistan. He proposed exploring multilateral trade corridors and expressed Pakistan’s keen interest in becoming part of the trade corridor between China, Tajikistan, and Afghanistan. This ambition is supported by the recent agreement to lay a railway line between Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Uzbekistan, which was discussed during a four-nation conference at the Doha Conference. Establishing such corridors is expected to yield positive results by improving access to Central Asia, enhancing regional connectivity, and facilitating smoother trade routes.

Tajik President Imam Ali Rahmanov, in his address, echoed Prime Minister Sharif’s sentiments, suggesting steps to enhance trade and investment and increase the utilization of Pakistani ports in the near future. He also agreed to the proposal to establish a joint ministerial commission to facilitate these initiatives. This commission will likely serve as a platform to discuss and resolve any bilateral issues, ensuring that the agreements reached are implemented effectively and efficiently.

The agreements and memorandums signed during Prime Minister Sharif’s visit to Tajikistan pave the way for increased commercial activities, which are expected to bring prosperity to the region. As these measures are implemented, both countries can look forward to a strengthened partnership and enhanced economic cooperation. The impact of these agreements extends beyond the bilateral relationship, potentially influencing the broader region.

Enhanced connectivity and cooperation between Pakistan and Tajikistan can serve as a model for other Central Asian countries, showcasing the benefits of strategic partnerships and collaborative projects. The development of trade corridors and transportation networks will not only benefit Pakistan and Tajikistan but also neighboring countries by providing new trade routes and economic opportunities. This regional integration can lead to more stable and prosperous economies, reducing the dependency on external aid and fostering self-sustaining growth.

Moreover, the emphasis on addressing international human rights issues reflects a shared commitment to global peace and stability. By voicing their concerns about the situations in Jammu and Kashmir and Gaza, Pakistan and Tajikistan position themselves as proactive players in international diplomacy, advocating for the protection of human rights and the resolution of conflicts through dialogue and cooperation.

Sahibzada M. Usman, Ph.D.
Sahibzada M. Usman, Ph.D.
Research Scholar and Academic; Ph.D. in Political Science at the University of Pisa, Italy. Dr. Usman has participated in various national and international conferences and published 30 research articles in international journals. Email: usmangull36[at]