Pakistan is focusing on adopting a people-centric approach, in addition to formal diplomacy to strengthen ties with Central Asian states, says Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi.
He was addressing a gathering of Pakistanis in Bishkek. He said commonalities of culture, religion and traditions could bring Pakistan closer to Central Asia.
The foreign minister said the government had taken steps to promote tourism as a means to develop people-to-people contacts with other countries and also relaxed its visa regime to encourage foreign tourists.
Owing to its scenic beauty, he said, the Central Asian states could become a good holiday destination for Pakistani tourists apart from their usual trend of heading towards the West.
He regretted, however, the absence of direct air links between Pakistan and Central Asian countries. He said it is an impediment which needed to be worked on.