TASHKENT: Pakistan and Uzbekistan have agreed to strengthen their multifaceted ties in political, trade and economic, energy, communication, science and technology, educational and cultural spheres.
According to a joint declaration issued in Tashkent Thursday, the two countries have signed an agreement to establish strategic partnership. Prime Minister Imran Khan and Uzbek President Shavkat Mirzaiyoyev signed the document.
The two sides reaffirmed their commitment to strengthening fraternal ties, based on religious, cultural and historical commonalities. Both 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.
Imran Khan and Shavkat Mirzaiyoyev agreed to expand bilateral cooperation in all areas of mutual interest and stressed the importance of closer coordination based on coinciding positions in the international arena. They expressed satisfaction with the growing pace of inter-parliamentary cooperation and agreed on the regular exchange of parliamentary delegations to further deepen bilateral ties
Prime Minister Imran Khan underlined the importance of structured engagement between Pakistan and Uzbekistan under the five pillars of Islamabad’s “Vision Central Asia” policy based on political, trade and investment, energy and connectivity, security and defence and people-to-people contacts.
Imran Khan also emphasized on 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 discussed the security situation in Afghanistan and the ongoing peace process. They 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.
The Uzbek President appreciated the role of Pakistan in promoting the peace process in Afghanistan and Pakistan’s contributions to socio-economic development of Afghanistan.
Prime Minister Imran Khan hailed Uzbekistan’s efforts for the socio-economic reconstruction of Afghanistan through the implementation of several significant projects, including the construction of the Termez-Mazar-i-Sharif - Kabul - Peshawar railway.
Both leaders expressed their readiness to maintain a regular dialogue and build constructive cooperation in the field of security and defence.
Expressing satisfaction with the level of cooperation between the Defence Ministries, the leaders agreed to continue cooperation in conducting joint military exercises and trainings, as well as in the field of vocational training and the exchange of professional expertise between the militaries of the two countries.
The two sides called for enhanced cooperation in the fields of agriculture, pharmaceuticals, textile, leather and chemical industries, energy and information technology.
They recognized regional integration and connectivity as a cornerstone of economic development and progress. In this regard, they welcomed the exchange of high-level visits in the areas of trade, railways, transport and aviation.
They reiterated their support for the Termez-Mazar-i-Sharif - Kabul - Peshawar railway project 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 two sides also recognized immense potential of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor for the benefit of the entire Central Asian region and beyond entailing greater connectivity and trade linkages through a network of transport, fibre optic cable, energy pipelines and investment opportunities in its Special Economic Zones.
They welcomed the resumption of direct regular flights between Pakistan and Uzbekistan.
The Uzbek President highly appreciated the opening of Centres for the Study of the heritage of Al Shir Navaoi, and Zahiriddin Babur at the Punjab and Peshawar Universities and welcomed the establishment of cooperation with the Al-Shir Navaoi, and Babur Foundations in Uzbekistan.
Both the leaders reaffirmed to establish cooperation in the tourism sector, in particular, and recognized spiritual tourism as a priority area of common interest. The also expressed support for the joint initiatives and collective efforts of the OIC to promote a tolerant and enlightened Islam. Several Memorandums of Understanding were also signed on the occasion.