Pakistan, Uzbekistan pledge
to further solidify relations


Uzbek president to visit Pakistan; both countries agree on a negotiated solution of the Afghan issue; express resolve to complete Termez-Mazar-i-Sharif – Kabul – Peshawar railway at the earliest; President Shavkat lauds opening of Centers for the Study of the heritage of Alisher Navoi and Zahiriddin Muhammad Babur

Ansar Mahmood Bhatti in Tashkent

TASHKENT: Pakistan and Uzbekistan have reaffirmed their commitment to further solidify bilateral relations reaffirming their commitment to strengthening fraternal ties, based on religious, cultural and historical commonalities, the leaders expressed satisfaction at the continued progress in bilateral relations and announced the establishment of a strategic partnership for mutual benefit of the two countries and nations.
The President of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev and Prime of Minister of Pakistan Imran Khan expressed this resolve in a joint press briefing, on Thursday.
The Pakistani prime minister underlined the importance of structured engagement between Pakistan and Uzbekistan under the five pillars of Pakistan’s “Vision Central Asia” policy i.e political, trade and investment, energy and connectivity, security and defence, and people-to-people contacts.
Pakistan was among the first countries to recognize the independence of the Republic of Uzbekistan in 1991, the leaders congratulated each other on approaching the 30th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two brotherly countries and agreed to celebrate it in a befitting manner.
As members of the UN Human Rights Council, the Parties expressed their readiness for joint action to suppress violations of human rights and counter Islamophobia, as well as strengthening interfaith harmony.

The PM emphasized on the urgent need for peaceful resolution of all outstanding regional disputes and conflicts to fully utilize the enormous potential of connectivity between Central Asia and South Asia.
The two sides noted with satisfaction that over the 20 years of its activity, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) has taken a significant place in international and regional organizations, and contributed in promoting security, stability and sustainable development of the region.
The leaders discussed the security situation in detail in Afghanistan and the ongoing peace process. The parties stressed the necessity to resolve the conflict through Afghan-led and Afghan-owned political process through peaceful and inclusive negotiations resulting in comprehensive political settlement.
President of Uzbekistan highly appreciated the role of Pakistan in promoting the peace process in Afghanistan and Pakistan’s contributions to socio-economic development of Afghanistan. Prime Minister of Pakistan hailed Uzbekistan’s efforts for the socio-economic reconstruction of Afghanistan through the implementation of a number of significant projects, the main one of which is the construction of the Termez-Mazar-i-Sharif – Kabul – Peshawar railway.
The two leaders reiterated their support for the Termez-Mazar-i-Sharif – Kabul – Peshawar railway project as an important initiative to create a rail link from Central Asia to the Arabian Sea through Afghanistan and the Pakistani seaports of Karachi, Gwadar and Bin Qasim.

The parties also welcomed the proposed expedition of representatives of the relevant ministries and departments of Uzbekistan and Pakistan along the route of the railway line in near future with appropriate security measures for the representatives of both sides.
The Prime Minister expressed gratitude to the Uzbek side for the cordial and warm welcome extended to the Pakistan delegation in Uzbekistan and invited the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan Mr. Shavkat Mirziyoyev to visit Pakistan at a convenient time. Uzbek side accepted the invitation with appreciation. The dates of the visit will be agreed through diplomatic channels.
The leaders expressed their conviction that the agreements reached during the visit will contribute to the further deepening of the bilateral strategic partnership and development of cooperation within the framework of multilateral formats. They agreed to continue high-level political dialogue in the future.
President of Uzbekistan Mr. Shavkat Mirziyoyev thanked Prime Minister Imran Khan for participation in the International High-Level Conference “Central and South Asia: Regional Connectivity – Challenges and Opportunities (July 15-16 2021, Tashkent).”
President Shavkat Mirziyoyev and Prime Minister Imran Khan noted long-standing cultural, historical, religious and spiritual ties between the two countries. The leaders decided to further expand cultural ties and people-to-people contacts and welcomed proposals to develop cooperation between leading universities, research institutes, libraries and museums of the two countries, as well as to conduct joint research on the legacy of the Baburids.
. The President of Uzbekistan highly appreciated the opening of Centers for the Study of the heritage of Alisher Navoi and Zahiriddin Muhammad Babur at the Punjab and Peshawar Universities of Pakistan and welcomed the establishment of cooperation with the Alisher Navoi and Babur Foundations in Uzbekistan.
Earlier, the Prime Minister Imran Khan on Thursday was accorded a very warm welcome when he arrived here on a two-day official visit to Uzbekistan.

The Prime Minister was given a guard of honour on his arrival at Uzbekistan’s Koksaray presidential palace by a smartly turned out contingent of its armed forces. Uzbek President Shavkat Mirziyoyev received the prime minister at the official welcome ceremony, where contingents of Uzbek forces presented a static salute to the visiting dignitary.
Uzbek President Mirziyoyev and Prime Minister Imran Khan introduced their delegations to each other before proceeding to the official talks. Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi, Information Minister Chaudhry Fawad Hussain, Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed, Minister for Maritime Affairs Ali Haider Zaidi, National Security Adviser Dr Moeed Yusuf and Khyber Pukhtunkhwa Minister for Information Technology Atif Khan were present.
Earlier, Prime Minister Imran Khan arrived in Uzbekistan on a two-day official visit at the invitation of Uzbek President Shavkat Mirziyoyev. Prime Minister of Uzbekistan Abdulla Aripov received PM Imran Khan on his arrival at the Tashkent International Airport.
The Prime Minister was accompanied by Information Minister Chaudhry Fawad Hussain, Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed, Minister for Maritime Affairs Ali Haider Zaidi, National Security Adviser Dr Moeed Yusuf and Khyber Pukhtunkhwa Minister for Information Technology Atif Khan. Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi joined from Tajikistan after concluding his official visit.
“The Prime Minister’s visit to Uzbekistan is important in terms of cooperation on matters relating to regional and bilateral trade, international relations and security,” the PM Office said.
Prime Minister Imran Khan was received by his Uzbek counterpart Abdulla Aripov at the Tashkent International Airport. During the visit, several agreements and Memoranda of Understanding will be signed between the two countries on various issues of common interest.
These include the areas such as transportation of goods, cooperation between the two chambers of commerce, trade, education, culture, and tourism. Soon after his arrival, the prime minister visited the national monument of Uzbekistan and laid a wreath. Prime Minister Imran Khan lays wreath at the national monument of Uzbekistan.
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 and high-level representatives from Central and South Asia 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 geopolitics to geo-economics. The Foreign Office said Pakistan and Uzbekistan enjoy historic fraternal relations, marked by mutual respect and rooted in common culture and similar traditions.