ISLAMABAD: Pakistan and Uzbekistan on Friday agreed to promote science and technology linkages and cooperation between the youths to benefit the people of two countries.
The bilateral ties were discussed in a meeting between President Arif Alvi and his Uzbek counterpart Shavkat Mirziyoyev, who visited the Aiwan-i-Sadr on Friday before wrapping up his two-day official tour to Islamabad.
The two leaders noted progress on collaboration in education, culture, security and defence and reiterated commitment to continue pursuing common goals of economic development. A wide range of issues of bilateral interest and important regional and international matters were discussed.
At the meeting, President Alvi highlighted prospects of regional integration and connectivity to Uzbekistan and other Central Asian countries through Pakistan’s seaports. He expressed satisfaction on the upward trajectory of bilateral ties and reiterated the desire to promote multifaceted cooperation in all spheres, including political, trade, economic, defence, security, connectivity, education and cultural exchanges.
Tashkent, Islamabad agree to boost technology, youth cooperation
He elaborated Pakistan’s efforts for enhanced engagement with Central Asia within the framework of the Vision Central Asia policy.
Trans-Afghan railway, he said, would be one such project to establish consolidated land connectivity. The Ministry of Railways of Pakistan and the Ministry of Transport of Uzbekistan had signed a memorandum of understating a day ago. However, President Alvi said, peace and stability in Afghanistan was vital to reap the dividends of land connectivity. A peaceful Afghanistan would contribute to the economic progress and prosperity of the region and beyond, he added.
He also underlined the importance of air connectivity for boosting tourism and people-to-people exchanges.
Mr Alvi lauded the signing of the joint declaration on ‘Next Steps in Strategic Partnership between Pakistan and Uzbekistan’ as well as the memorandum of understanding and agreements in multiple areas. The signing of the Preferential Trade Agreement (PTA) would open new avenues of enhancing bilateral trade, he observed. The sides earlier signed PTA and agreed on an action plan of practical measures (road map) to develop cooperation in security.
President Alvi also apprised his Uzbek counterpart of the situation in Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir.
The meeting was followed by a luncheon hosted in the honour of President Mirziyoyev. The Uzbek president, who came on Thursday along with a high-level delegation comprising ministers and businessmen on the invitation of Prime Minister Imran Khan, later returned home.
On Thursday, a number of agreements and MoUs were signed by the two sides. An MoU was signed between Uzbekistan’s Ministry of Tourism and Sport and Pakistan’s Ministry of Religious Affairs and Interfaith Harmony to promote pilgrimage tourism. Another MoU was inked between the two states in the field of environment and climate change.
The historic visit marked the commemoration of the 30th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Pakistan and Uzbekistan.
The two countries enjoy historic fraternal relations, marked by mutual respect and rooted in a common faith, shared history and cultural affinities.
Pakistan and Uzbekistan have been closely collaborating at regional and international fora especially at the United Nations, Organisation of Islamic Cooperation, Economic Cooperation Organisation, and Shanghai Cooperation Organisation.
Published in Dawn, March 5th, 2022