30th Anniversary of Independence of Uzbekistan: Prospects of Multifaceted Uzbek-Pakistani Connectivity
By News Desk
An Online Round Table Discussion on “30th Anniversary of Independence of Uzbekistan: Prospects of Multifaceted Uzbek-Pakistani Connectivity” was jointly organized by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Uzbekistan and Embassy of the Republic of Uzbekistan, Islamabad on 30th August 2021.
The Round Table Discussion commenced with the Opening Remarks of His Excellency Aybek Arif Usmanov, Ambassador of the Republic of Uzbekistan to Pakistan. During his opening remarks, he highlighted the instrumental role played by H. E Furqat Sidikov, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Uzbekistan in lying a solid foundation of the Uzbekistan-Pakistan Connectivity.
Ambassador A.Usmanov has expressed gratitude to Deputy Minister Mr. Furqat Sidiqov for initiating the interactive session with Pakistani prominent think tanks and media and his exemplary services for two our countries Pakistan and Uzbekistan during his 5 years of excellent tenure in Islamabad as Ambassador of Uzbekistan in Pakistan.
Mr.Furqat is well known due to his relentless efforts the solid foundation of the active interaction between our leaders and experts communities well known think tanks prominent and famous Mass media editions have been established.
His activities recently were well culminated in recent outcomes of the Online summit of President H.E. Shawqat Mirziyaev and Hon PM Imran Khan Sb and successful official visit of Prime Minister to Uzbekistan last month.
H.E Aybek also mentioned that the well seasoned important role think tanks, vibrant media editions and educational institutes can play in further strengthening the bilateral relations between the two countries. Furthermore, he stated that connectivity between the two countries in different spheres should also be promoted especially through various trade agreements, industrial and banking cooperations.
H.E Furkat Sidikov, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Uzbekistan mentioned that new avenues of cooperation between the two countries are being explored through various initiatives. According to H.E Furkat, Uzbekistan and Pakistan, through sincere efforts, have now become Strategic Partners.
H.E Furkat further mentioned that despite the Pandemic, Uzbekistan and Pakistan have managed to improve their bilateral terms. He mentioned that due to our joint from January to August 2021 our bilateral trade with Pakistan through the territory of Afghanistan amounted around 104 million USD, which is for 30% higher than last year.
For further expanding Pak-Uzbek trade and economic relations, two sides have developed Joint Road Map for the implementation of all economic agreements, PTA, banking cooperation the joint manufacturing projects which were successfully agreed during the the Highest-level in July 2021.
According to H.E Furkat, the open and pragmatic foreign Policy of Uzbekistan has supported developing connectivity between Pakistan and Uzbekistan. Additionally, the foreign policy of Uzbekistan also focuses on ensuring regional connectivity.
H.E. Furkat emphasized that during the 30 years of Independence, Uzbekistan has passed the challenges of the national identity, social and economic changes are being implemented consistently. Especially last five years, the processes of modernization and democratization, openness and transparency in our country have become irreversible.
Because of pragmatic policy of H.E. President Shavkat Mirziyoyev Uzbekistan has solved all regional problems on the basis of the principles of good neighbourliness, mutual respect, trust and mutual consideration of interests.
Major General Syed Khalid Amir Jaffery HI (M), (Retd), President, Center for Global & Strategic Studies (CGSS), Islamabad mentioned that Pakistan was one of the first countries to recognize Uzbekistan. He also stated that Pakistan has made sincere efforts in establishing cooperation with Uzbekistan in various spheres including economic, cultural, etc.
Major General Jaffery also mentioned that Pakistan and Uzbekistan can jointly facilitate peaceful solution and improvement of the situation in Afghanistan positively.
Dr. Mehmood-ul-Hassan Khan, a Renowned Regional Geo-Political Analyst stated that the enhanced Regional Connectivity is indeed a great achievement on part of Pakistan and Uzbekistan. Through the improved regional connectivity, both the countries can jointly work towards achieving the sense of economic development, industrialization, and green revolution.
Furthermore, Dr. Mehmood also added that the idea of Regional Connectivity presented by President Shavkat Mirziyoyev will be a road map to improved bilateral relations. Additionally, he suggested that both countries should also focus on enhancing Cultural Diplomacy.
Mr. Khalid Taimur Akram, Executive Director, Center for Global & Strategic Studies (CGSS), Islamabad congratulated everyone and showed love and affiliation for Uzbek people. He discussed Pak-Uzbek relations and appreciated H.E Furkat Sidikov’s services and efforts and his great initiatives for Pak-Uzbek relations. Mr. Khalid also recommended that the government of Pakistan should present civil award to H.E Furkat for his efforts in enhancing the bilateral relations of Uzbekistan and Pakistan. He talked about regional connectivity and said that Central-South Asian connectivity can be a great opportunity for youth. He praised the great ideas of President Shavkat Mirziyoyev. He suggested that think tanks and other programs can aware youth and can help them to know about regional connectivity. He encouraged the students of Pakistan to promote their ideas.
Tahir Farooq, Editor-in-Chief of Daily Ittehad discussed about the road map to regional connectivity that it is the door to Central Asia. He said that President visionary gave idea about connectivity. While discussing about belt and road initiative he stated that it is a project of peace and prosperity. He talked about visit of PM Imran Khan to Uzbekistan. He also discussed about trade and economy collaborations between Pakistan and Uzbekistan.
Riaz A Malik, Group Editor, National Herald Tribune talked about political and economic stability of Uzbekistan and Pakistan. He stated that despite of Pandemic, regional cooperation and bilateral relations are developing between Central Asia and South Asia. He appreciated initiatives of President Shavkat Mirziyoyev. He discussed about strategic partnership between Pakistan and Uzbekistan. Also, he mentioned about land and air connectivity between both regions. He appreciated the innovative ideas of CGSS and its work.
Mr. Tazeen Akhtar, Editor-in-Chief, Pakistan in the World Magazine praised the visionary leadership of President of Uzbekistan who has handled the common challenges faced by the world in an exemplary manner.
Moreover, he mentioned that it was a great experience attending the recent South Asia-Central Asia Connectivity conference in Tashkent. Mr. Tazeen also talked about the emergence of Digitalization post Pandemic. He highlighted the significance of digital platforms in post-pandemic world by mentioning that these platforms are used in almost every sphere of life now.
Mr. Rasheed Khan Safi, Leading Analyst and Columnist of Khyber News TV, mentioned that stability in Afghanistan is necessary for the maintenance of peace in the region. In this regard, Central Asia, Iran, China etc are significant actors. Mr. Rasheed also added that people-to-people contact between the two countries Pakistan and Uzbekistan is necessary for the improved bilateral relations.