Dr. Mehmood Ul Hassan Khan
Uzbekistan-Pakistan bilateral relations has been further strengthened during recent times because of the better political understanding, improvement in bilateral trade, phenomenal rise to tourism and the last but not the least joint efforts to bring peace and harmony in the region.
Most recently, Uzbekistan Foreign Minister H.E. Abdulaziz Kamilov visited Pakistan and met with his counterpart Shah Mehmood Qureshi and Prime Minister Imran Khan. During his stay he thoroughly discussed means and ways to non-military solution in Afghanistan, increase in trade and commerce and enhance bilateral cooperation in diversified sectors of economy. Uzbek foreign minister Abdulaziz Kamilov paid an official visit to Islamabad with a high-level delegation.
He was accompanied by Ikhtiyor Abullayev, Chairman of the State Security Service and Ismatulla Irgashev, Special Representative of President of Uzbekistan for Afghanistan along with other representatives of Uzbek Ministry of Foreign Affairs and State Security Service of Uzbekistan.
Both foreign ministers conducted a purposeful joint press conference which showed high level of political understanding, strong commitments to achieve desired goals of socio-economic prosperity and connectivity through peace and harmony in the region, connecting through rail corridor, investments in diverse sectors of economy, tourism and other befitting propositions between the two countries. It also showed Uzbekistan sincere efforts to bring peace in Afghanistan through regional resolve, dialogue and development. Uzbekistan and Pakistan also discussed a comprehensive roadmap for boosting their bilateral trade, investment and economic cooperation and agreed to continue their dialogue for closer collaboration in all areas. It also reflected unanimity in their views that peace and stability in the region is vital for progress and development of their peoples.
Speaking at a joint news conference Uzbek Foreign Minister Abdulaziz Kamilov and his counterpart Shah Mehmood Qureshi said both the countries shared views on Afghanistan. They expressed the resolve to further enhance bilateral cooperation to promote peace and stability in the region.
Qureshi said both countries shared common views on Afghanistan as they feel that there was no military solution to the Afghan problem. He added: “We are prepared to facilitate and support the dialogue process in Afghanistan.” Both Pakistan and Uzbekistan want peace in Afghanistan and were willing to support the efforts he added. Pakistan is ready to promote connectivity in the region for the benefit of our people, he said.
The minister said he and the Uzbek minister had also discussed rail-road corridor, which will enhance the connectivity in the region. The project will add to Pakistan’s potential as the regional transit hub, enhance connectivity with Central Asia and beyond and aid in regional development and prosperity”, said Abdulaziz Kamilov. He said there were great opportunities to promote bilateral trade between the two countries.
The Foreign Office says that the visit strengthened meaningful deliberations in all areas of bilateral cooperation including political, security & defence cooperation, peace process in Afghanistan as well as trade and investment promotion. Areas of mutual interest for future collaboration were also identified, including agriculture, tourism and cultural cooperation.
On his part, Uzbek FM Abdulaziz Kamilov said Pakistan, as a regional power, can play role in guaranteeing regional peace and stability. The minister said: “Pakistan and Uzbekistan have common views on regional security, especially peace and stability in Afghanistan.”
He said the two sides discussed various ways to enhance cooperation in trade, transport, communication, and other sectors. “We also talked about strengthening cooperation in the areas of tourism, people to people exchanges and cultural and humanitarian ties between the two countries,” he added.
Uzbek FM Kamilov acknowledged Pakistan’s vital role in the fight against terrorism and its efforts to bring peace and stability to the region. He said the two countries have a common approach to encouraging the peace process in Afghanistan, combating terrorism and facing other challenges.
We have held very productive talks with Pakistan on enhancing bilateral cooperation in the fields of transport, road communication, trade, economy and security, he announced at the press conference. He invited Qureshi to visit Uzbekistan.
He said: “We discussed cooperation between the two countries in facing various challenges and threats. I had in my delegation the Head of National Security Services, which is evident of the fact that we give importance to cooperation between the two countries in the realm of security.”
He said Pakistan and Uzbekistan teams talked about strengthening cooperation in the areas of tourism, people to people exchanges and cultural and humanitarian ties between the two countries. He also invited government to pay an official visit to Uzbekistan as soon as possible which may also serve an opportunity to visit historical places like Samarkand and Bukhara.
In order to give further impetus to bilateral relations, it was agreed to hold the inaugural session of Bilateral Political Consultation and 6th session of Joint Ministerial Commission in Tashkent at the earliest possible.
Uzbekistan Foreign Minister H.E. Abdulaziz Kamilov also called on Prime Minister of Pakistan Imran Khan at Prime Minister’s Office. Prime Minister Imran Khan expressed his strong desire to see rapid increase in economic cooperation with Uzbekistan.
During the meeting with Prime Minister Khan, the Uzbek foreign minister also conveyed Uzbek President’s proposal for railway connectivity between Pakistan, Afghanistan and Uzbekistan. Imran Khan expressed his desire to witness rapid increase in bilateral economic cooperation in the coming years and ensured full support of the Government of Pakistan to President Mirziyoyev’s efforts in achieving lasting peace and stability in the region and beyond. He also extended an invitation for President Mirziyoyev to visit Pakistan at his earliest convenience.
President of the Republic of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev most recently has paid an official visit to India and signed various agreements. Pakistan being considered only gate-way to Central Asia and base of “CPEC and One Road One Belt” needs not be ignored. Being Regional Expert on Uzbekistan and Central Asia I strongly suggest that H.E. President of the Republic of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev should pay official visit to Pakistan so that regional equation of power may be in favour of both the sides. Pakistan also provides immense opportunities of greater regional connectivity which government of Uzbekistan should be tapped for a win-win situation for both sides. Moreover due to strategic position of Pakistan its role is must to achieve desired goals of peace and harmony in the region and especially in Afghanistan which must be further strengthened through highest levels of constant dialogue and diplomacy.
President Mirziyoyev has initiated the “Strategy for the Further Development of Uzbekistan 2017-2021”. It is indeed a blue print of its socio-economic development in the next five years. It highlighted five principles i.e. improvement of state construction, economic liberalization, development of the social sphere and implementation of active foreign policy. Due to which now Uzbekistan is on the right path to achieve the desired goals of socio-economic prosperity, further politicization, democratization, greater attraction of FDIs, and the last but not the least people and business friendly bureaucracy in the country.
Now its macro-economy is more stable and sustainable. It has attractive more inflows of foreign direct investments. It has initiated rigorous commercial diplomacy due to which Uzbekistan has succeeded to achieve more and more regional investments, joint ventures and cooperation in diversified fields of economy and human survival. So being Regional Expert on Uzbekistan and Central Asia I suggest that there are ample opportunities of joint ventures in the fields of textile, garments, agro-economy, automobiles, construction, energy (solar), pharmaceutical and tourism which must be explored. Now rail corridor has also been offered by Uzbekistan government which must be pursued as soon as possible.
New reforms of tourism have already revolutionized its various sectors. H.E. Furqat Sidiqov ambassador of Uzbekistan in Pakistan has played a tremendous role in reviving the direct flights between the two sides. Ambassador H.E. Furqat Sidiqov has been working tirelessly to resume fights for the last two years. He worked very hard to achieve the unrealized dream of greater connectivity via direct air-links between the countries. Direct connectivity has now achieved new levels of government-to-government, business-to-business and the last but not the least, people-to-people contacts between the two sides. It has widened horizon of bilateral relations and which ultimately enhanced volumes of bilateral trade, tourism, investments, joint ventures, educational and cultural cooperation.
oriented which always welcomes unlimited people with in and around the global to feel at home.
Uzbekistan is blessed with beautiful Samarkand, the jewel of CIS and the capital of the great state of Amir Temur focused a lot of attractions, which are famous today around the world. It has rich history, culture and traditions too. Its people are decent, lovely and courageous. They respect humanity, knowledge, wisdom, beauty and the last but not the least, cross culture and civilizations.
It is blessed with architectural ensemble Registan and Ulugbek observatory. It has a famous mausoleum of Amir Temur and Bibi Khanum Mosque has become city’s decoration. Its mausoleum was built by the order of Amir Temur, who is considered one of the finest examples of medieval architecture of the East.
Uzbekistan is also blessed with holy city of Bukhara. It is spiritual hub and center of peace, love and caring to all people. It has also historical monuments and places of worship. It is very famous and one of the hot destinations of devouted tourists visiting from South East Asia, Far East, CIS, MENA, and Africa. It has so many majestic minarets, mosques and madrassas, bazaars and shopping domes, havuz-pools and areas are witnessing 2500 year history of Bukhara. It is a city of life, joy, color, and brotherhood. It is the city which connects past with future.
Uzbekistan has various famous cities like Khiva, Shakhrisabz and Termez. All these cities have ancient cities, cultures, civilizations and unique traditions. These have unique architectural masterpieces and have roused the admiration of ancestors and contemporaries.
Uzbekistan has introduced many innovative and modern concepts mainly ecotourism, geo-tourism, extreme, health and cultural areas, as well as mountain climbing, rafting and fishing for the international tourists. It categorized its tourism into regions i.e. in areas with few historic monuments develop ecotourism, geo-tourism, traveling off-road, in mountainous areas extreme tours. It has also implemented a project on restoration of objects of cultural heritage, construction and reconstruction of tourist facilities, the development of new routes of ancient monuments and picturesque places.
Tourism cooperation has been increased between the two sides. Uzbek ambassador in Pakistan has introduced new concept of “religious diplomacy” which has achieved new highest in terms of tourists from Pakistan.
Uzbekistan’s Ambassador H.E. Furqat SIDIQOV