Question: Please share with us some key features of Kazakh-Pakistan relations, especially in the fields of diplomacy, trade, politics and culture.
Barlybay Sadykov: First of all, Kazakhstan and Pakistan have a long history of friendly relationship, with their beginning dating back to the early 1990’s. So, since then our countries have never questioned the need for developing and enhancing their bilateral ties. Apart of that, I always note that Pakistan was among the first nations in the world to have recognized Kazakhstan’s sovereignty shortly after demise of the Soviet Union. That was probably the reason of why one of the first international visits of the President of Kazakhstan, Mr. Nursultan Nazarbayev was paid to Pakistan in early 1992. This sort of mutual gestures of respect and honor really matter in inter-state relations and are of extreme importance for making them to develop well in the long run. The trade cooperation does not meet vast economic potential of two countries and needs intensifying contacts between their business communities. What is crucial now is to increase their awareness of each other and try to reduce those trade barriers, which may be removed with no harm to economic interests or international commitments of Kazakhstan and Pakistan. Bearing in mind that geographic location and climatic peculiarities make Kazakhstan’s economy differ substantially from that of Pakistan, I am certain that at the very beginning our economies should be rather complimentary than competitive towards each other. For instance, Kazakhstan is able to meet Pakistan’s needs in supplies of mineral resources, namely oil, gas, coal, ore and some others, given the existence of viable transport routes and implementation of regional projects of TAPI and CASA-1000. Pakistan on its part could be a very competitive supplier of fruits, vegetables, textile and leathermade products, medicines and surgery equipment. Culture is