The delegates have started arriving in Tashkent. A high powered business delegation from Pakistan arrived here two days ago. The delegation has started its meetings with the Uzbek counterparts. The Capital Tashkent is littered with flags of the participating countries. Pakistani flags are also visible on the roads of Tashkent
Ansar M Bhatti in Tashkent
TASHKENT: Prime Minister Imran Khan is due in Tashkent on July 15 for a two-day visit. The Pakistani prime minister is visiting Uzbekistan on the invitation of President Shavkat Mirziyoyev. The Prime Minister will be accompanied by a high-level delegation, including the Foreign Minister and other members of the Cabinet. A large group of Pakistan’s leading businessmen will also visit Tashkent on the occasion.
The wide-ranging talks between the two leaders will cover the entire gamut of bilateral relations, with a particular focus on trade, economic cooperation, and connectivity. The leaders will also exchange views on regional and international issues of mutual interest.
A number of agreements/MoUs are expected to be signed aimed at deepening bilateral cooperation in diverse areas. The Prime Minister will address the first Pakistan-Uzbekistan Business Forum. Leading businessmen from Pakistan and Uzbekistan will participate in the Forum and also hold B2B meetings. Leading up to the Prime Minister’s visit, the two sides will also hold the 6th session of the Joint Inter-Governmental Commission (JIGC) and inaugural session of Joint Business Council (JBC) on 14 July 2021 in Tashkent.
On the invitation of the Uzbek President, the Prime Minister will also participate in the International Conference on “Central and South Asia Regional Connectivity: Challenges and Opportunities.” The Conference will be attended by Ministers/high representatives from Central and South Asian as well as other important countries, International Organizations, International Financial Institutions, think-tanks and scholars.
In his interactions during the visit, the Prime Minister will highlight his vision of ‘Naya Pakistan’, Pakistan’s positive contribution to peace and security at the regional and international level, and the shift from geo-politics to geo-economics.
Pakistan and Uzbekistan enjoy historic fraternal relations, marked by mutual respect and rooted in common culture and similar traditions. In recent years, Pakistan-Uzbekistan relations have witnessed an upward trajectory. The two leaders have interacted twice before on the sidelines of BRI Forum in Beijing and SCO Summit in Bishkek. They also held a Virtual bilateral Summit on 14 April 2021.
Pakistan has deepened its engagement with Central Asia through its ‘Vision Central Asia’ policy, with focus on five key strands — political, trade and investment, energy and connectivity, security and defence, and people-to-people exchanges.
The Central Asian region is becoming more and more important not only for the Central Asian states but for the neighboring countries such as China, Pakistan, Iran as well because of its geo-political significance. Central Asia is enriched with natural resources besides its being located at the crossroads of the region between East and the West. Central Asia has been facing some serious challenges including terrorism and extremism since long. Many great powers have huge interest in the region therefore it was necessary to put together all these powers with a view to devising a consensus policy and reaching an understanding to usher in a new era of peace and prosperity especially in the context of Central and South Asia. In view of these ground realities President of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev decided to convene an international conference in order to not only secure and ensure regional peace but mull collective efforts to promote intra-state trade and economic activity besides laying special focus on regional and intra-regional connectivity.
The delegates have started arriving in Tashkent. A high powered business delegation from Pakistan arrived here two days ago. The delegation has started its meetings with the Uzbek counterparts. The Capital Tashkent is littered with flags of the participating countries. Pakistani flags are also visible on the roads of Tashkent as Prime Minister Imran Khan shall be among a few heads of the governments who would attend this conference. Mostly, the foreign ministers of over 40 countries are expected to take part.
The Uzbek government has made elaborate arrangements for the conference. Despite the pandemic, the Uzbek government took this daring initiative of gathering a glazy of leaders from across the Central Asia and South Asia.
The main conference will take place on July 16 while on July 15 delegation-level talks will take place. The participating countries have lauded the initiative of the Uzbek President and hoped this initiative will prove a milestone in not only ushering in a new era of progress in the region but to help achieve peace as well, especially in the wake of the emerging Afghanistan situation.