On 08 September 2023, a conference was held dedicated to the program of political, economic, and social reforms, as well as the foreign policy activities of Kazakhstan under the leadership of President K. Tokayev of the Republic of Kazakhstan. This conference was organized in the context of the annual Address to the people of Kazakhstan titled "Economic Course of a Just Kazakhstan," which was delivered on September 1, 2023.
The event was attended by representatives from Pakistan's leading media, experts, and academic circles in the capital.
Amb. Dr. Raza Muhammad, President of the Islamabad Policy Research Institute (IPRI), was invited as the guest of honor.
Conference speakers included Brig. Dr. Raashid Wali Janjua, Director of IPRI, Mr. Tazeen Akhtar, founder and editor at "Pakistan in the World," Mr. Khalid Taimur Akram, Executive Director of the Pakistan Research Center Communities with a Shared Future (PRCCSF), and Mr. Irfan Shahzad Takalvi, President of the Eurasian Century Institute (ECI).
In his welcoming speech, Ambassador Y. Kistafin highlighted the key points of the President's Address, particularly emphasizing several priority sectors of Kazakhstan's economy designated by the President of the Republic as priority, including agriculture, mechanical engineering, the military-industrial complex, and the transport and logistics industry. He noted the potential for cooperation with Pakistan in these sectors, taking into account the host country's existing experience and infrastructure.
Ambassador Kistafin especially emphasized the order of the President to develop the international transport corridor “North-South”, within the framework of which the Islamic Republic can and should play an important role by ensuring access to open ocean routes for Kazakhstan and Central Asia through its seaports in Karachi and Gwadar.
The main speaker of the event, Brig. Dr. R.W. Janjua acknowledged Kazakhstan's achievements in implementing political reforms, improving the judicial system, and establishing a balanced system of checks and balances. The speaker emphasized the continued commitment to meritocracy in public administration and the inclusiveness of the political system of Kazakhstan.
Mr. T. Akhtar praised Kazakhstan’s initiatives and the state’s achievements in “building a unified Kazakh nation." He particularly highlighted innovations in the judicial system and the efforts of President Tokayev in the development of the social sphere, especially in school education.
Mr. Khalid Taimur Akram stated that Kazakhstan's leadership is dedicated to achieving economic self-sufficiency and self-reliance while promoting economic, social, and cultural cooperation. He focused on the progressive development of the IT sector, digitalization, and the fintech industry in Kazakhstan, predicting the emergence of Kazakhstan as a technological hub in Central Asia.
Mr. Takalvi considers it important to implement the initiatives of President K. Tokayev both for Kazakhstan and for the entire Asian region. The speaker emphasized the social orientation of Kazakhstan's new course; the special focus of the state on creating favorable conditions for future generations. The expert gave a positive assessment of the specific timelines outlined by the President for the implementation of the stated initiatives.
The guest of honor, Ambassador Dr. Raza Muhammad, commended Kazakhstan for its constitutional reforms, which serve as an example for countries in the region by creating a balance between state institutions and the civil society. The process of improving the justice system and effective foreign policy were noted in a positive light.
In general, the Pakistani expert community gave a positive assessment of the reforms being carried out in Kazakhstan, and the ambitious vision set out in the President's Address to the People of Kazakhstan. They noted the need to study the Kazakh experience for its possible application in the political agenda of Pakistan.