- Areas of trade, culture, tourism, connectivity, climate change and security covered
ISLAMABAD: Pakistan and Uzbekistan on Thursday signed various agreements and Memorandums of Understanding (MoUs), including the bilateral Preferential Trade Agreement (PTA) for increased cooperation in the areas of trade, culture, tourism, connectivity, climate change and security.
Prime Minister Imran Khan and Uzbek President Shavkat Mirziyoyev, who also signed the Pakistan-Uzbekistan Joint Declaration: “Next Step in the Strategic Partnership”, witnessed the signing ceremony here at the PM House after the two leaders had a one-on-one meeting and wide-ranging delegation-level talks.
The agreement on cooperation in the field of television and radio broadcasting between the National Television and Radio Company of Uzbekistan and the Pakistan Television Corporation was signed by Minister for Information Chaudhry Fawad Hussain and Uzbek Minister for Culture Ozodbek Nazabekov.
The MoU between the Uzbek Ministry of Tourism and Sports and Pakistan’s Ministry of Religious Affairs and Interfaith Harmony for the promotion of Pilgrimage Tourism was signed by Minister for Religious Affairs Noor ul Haq Qadri and Uzbek Minister for Foreign Affairs Abdulaziz Kamilov.
The MoU between Uzbekistan and Pakistan on cooperation in the field of environment and climate change was signed by Special Assistant to the PM on Climate Change Malik Amin Aslam, and Uzbek Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Investment and Foreign Trade Sardar Umurzakov.
Advisor to the PM on Commerce Abdul Razak Dawood and Uzbek Minister for Investment and Foreign Trade signed the Pakistan-Uzbekistan Preferential Trade Agreement.
The Action Plan of practical measures (roadmap) to further develop cooperation between Pakistan and Uzbekistan in the fields of security was signed by National Security Advisor Dr Moeed Yousaf and Secretary to the Uzbek Security Council Viktor Makhmudov.
The MoU between Pakistan’s Ministry of Railways and the Ministry of Transport of Uzbekistan was signed by Secretary/Chairman Pakistan Railways Habib ur Rehman Gilani and Uzbek Minister for Transport Ilkhom Makhkamov.
The MoU on cooperation between Khokimiyat of Tashkent City of Uzbekistan and the Administration of Islamabad City of Pakistan was signed by MCI Administrator Hamza Shafqat and Uzbek Ambassador to Pakistan Oybek Usmanov.
The MoU on cooperation between Surkhandarya Region of Uzbekistan and the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province of Pakistan was signed by Secretary Industries Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Zulfiqar Ali Shah and Uzbek Ambassador Pakistan Oybek Usmanov.-APP
ZAHEER ABBASI adds: Prime Minister Imran Khan and visiting Uzbek President Shavkat Mirzayev have vowed to strengthen cooperation in various fields including trade and business besides revival of centuries old relations between the two countries.
After signing the joint declaration, addressing the media briefing, Prime Minister Imran Khan said there are centuries’ old relations and the two sides have decided to revive them. Not only trade, but also our cultural relations, history and the development of relations would be revived, he added.
The premier further stated that the business community of Pakistan and Uzbekistan joint ventures have increased five times, adding that the two sides have also decided to increase connectivity through Afghanistan.
In addition, Uzbek airline would start operation in Pakistan and the PIA would start flights to Uzbekistan.
The prime minister said that this would increase tourism and trade. Railways from Pakistan to Uzbekistan via Afghanistan would also be started and this is a biggest project. He said that this project would connect Pakistan with Central Asian countries and then with Gwadar.
Pakistan has presented its position on Kashmir and stated that what is happening in Kashmir is great injustice and a violation of international law and the world community must take notice of it. We want the international community to enforce international law in the way that the United Nations should do, he added.
He said that Uzbekistan and Pakistan have uniform stance on Islamophobia. While talking about coordination through Afghanistan, he said that it would not only benefit Pakistan and Uzbekistan but also the people of Afghanistan. We have decided that the way the money of Afghanistan has been frozen, where the people were already suffering, both countries would lobby for it
The President of Uzbekistan, Shavkat Mirzayev, said that he was thankful to the people of Pakistan and the Pakistani leadership for hosting him. He said that this visit was long due but could not be taken because of the pandemic.
He said that both the countries are not only developing strong strategic relationship with Pakistan but we are also playing the role of a bridge between Central and South Asia. We have discussed issues as well as the status of projects and their future. The visiting president added that economic and trade relations between the two countries are increasing rapidly, but there are still areas where further progress can be made. He added that the trade agreements that have been signed are an important step in further strengthening our relations.
He said that the railway project is very important as it would help connect to the international ports of Pakistan. He said that his country was concerned about the Afghanistan situation, and stated about the frozen assets of Afghanistan, his country has the same position as of Pakistan.
“We will vote for Pakistan to become a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council in the 2025 and 2026 sessions,” he said.
He further stated that Uzbekistan and Pakistan have long-standing ties and are renewing those ties and contacts. We have agreed to increase cooperation in the fields of science, education, arts, cinema, sports, and information.
Copyright Business Recorder, 2022