Pakistani English-language newspaper noted in its website that Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan yesterday stressed the need to improve defense ties with Tajikistan, as the two countries signed memorandums of understanding (MOUs) for cooperation in various sectors, including the sale of Pakistan-manufactured arms to the Central Asian country.

Addressing a joint press conference at the Prime Minister's Office with Tajik president after their one-on-one meeting and a ceremony where various MOUs were signed, the premier said: “It is very important to improve our defense ties.”

He reportedly added that the two leaders had also “discussed and signed MOUs on how to meet Tajikistan's requirement for the kind of weapons that Pakistan makes.”

The prime minister said that in his meeting with the Tajik president, they had discussed a range of topics and the chambers of the two countries had signed agreements that would improve "our trade ties".

During the briefing on Wednesday, the premier said that the connectivity offered by Gwadar would further lead to strengthening of trade ties in areas such as education and culture.

The premier said that peace in Afghanistan was "very important" for trade and connectivity with Tajikistan to increase.  He said both countries shared a concern over Afghanistan delving back into instability with no political settlement after the withdrawal of US forces.

"Our trade will be affected because of [decreased] connectivity if anarchy spreads there and second we fear that terrorism will increase," he said, adding that both leaders had discussed in their meeting to push for a peaceful settlement in Afghanistan.

The second major issue they had discussed was of climate change and global warming since they posed a common threat to Tajikistan and Pakistan due to the two countries depending on glaciers for their water supply, said Prime Minister Imran Khan.

The Tajik president also noted the measures taken by his country to combat climate change and preserve glaciers such as calling for declaring 2025 as the "International Year of Glaciers Preservation" to which Prime Minister Imran Khan also affirmed Pakistan's support.

The two leaders also discussed issues surrounding Islamophobia and the reasons why it continued to spread. Prime Minister Imran Khan said that blasphemy against the Holy Prophet (peace be upon him) and linking Islam with terrorism were the main reasons for its spread.

The premier also specifically pointed to the MoU signed between the NAB and Tajikistan's anticorruption agency as "very important" because he said there was a need to raise a voice against money laundering and illicit financial flows from countries like Pakistan and Tajikistan.

The Tajik president, meanwhile, said that Wednesday talks had been held in a very "friendly atmosphere" and Tajikistan was satisfied with the outcome of the negotiations.  "Tajikistan recognizes the friendly country of Pakistan as a reliable and trustworthy partner on the international stage," he said.

He added that the signed MOUs would strengthen the legal framework of bilateral relations between the two countries and also discussed how cooperation could be increased in investment, trade, agriculture, connectivity and healthcare.