ISLAMABAD: Uzbekistan’s Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Tourism and Cultural Heritage Aziz Abduhakimov said direct air flight between Pakistan and Uzbekistan will be started soon which would promote bilateral economic and tourism ties.

In the first phase, the flight will be started from the city of Samarkand in Uzbekistan to Lahore, Mr Abduhakimov told this news agency, adding that a tourism conference will also be held in Samarkand.

He said that in the second phase, direct flights to Karachi and Islamabad will be started from other cities of Uzbekistan, including Tashkent and Khiva.

He said that the direct air link will increase bilateral economic and trade activities and tourism on both sides and will help the people of both countries to come closer.

Mr Abduhakimov said the tourism conference to be held in Uzbekistan will increase the tourism integration of Uzbekistan not only with Pakistan but also with all the Muslim countries.

He said holding such a conference would strengthen Uzbekistan’s partnership with other countries in the future and promote local tourism.

He said that there is a lot of potential for Islamic tourism in Uzbekistan which can be visited by tourists from Islamic countries.

He said that Samarkand, Bukhara and Khiva are the centres of Islamic heritage and learning which are very attractive places for Muslim tourists.

He said that Muslim saints and Sufis, including the shrine of Hazrat Imam Bukhari, are in Uzbekistan where millions of Muslim tourists come every year.

Mr Abduhakimov said according to the vision of the President of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev tourism has a very important place in the economy of Uzbekistan.

Published in Dawn, November 13th, 2022

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