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Experts discuss Pakistan-Uzbekistan collaboration for regional peace, trade

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan: Area Study Center (Russia, China and Central Asia), University of Peshawar and Centre for Global and Strategic Studies (CGSS), Islamabad jointly organised a roundtable discussion on, “Uzbekistan-Pakistan Joint Collaboration for Peace and Stability in Afghanistan” at Peshawar.

The roundtable discussion commenced with the welcome address by University of Peshawar Area Study Center (Russia, China and Central Asia) Director Dr Shabbir Ahmed. He said as immediate neighbours, Pakistan and Uzbekistan are peace holders for Afghanistan and a peaceful Afghanistan is prerequisite for regional stability.

The chief guest for the occasion was Embassy of the Republic of Uzbekistan Charge d’affaires Lt-Colonel Saadullah Tashmatov. He highlighted that Uzbekistan and Pakistan can play a major role for building peace and stability in Afghanistan. He stressed the need for working on it to diversify economic relations to achieve peace and harmony in the region. He also discussed about the railway project of Uzbekistan that will connect the three countries which is another big step to enhance connectivity among them.

Tashmatov also emphasised on SCO platform which is important in this regard. Moreover, he appreciated Pakistan rice production which is very famous in Uzbekistan and has huge demand. He said trade between Uzbekistan and Pakistan should need to be expanded in all sphere.

CGSS Research Executive Minahil Shawal Afridi presented an overview of CGSS cooperation and collaboration with various think tanks in Uzbekistan. She highlighted Pakistan Uzbekistan relations, collaborations and prospect between both countries. She discussed institutional cooperation and how it has remained fruitful in enhancing bilateral ties between Uzbekistan and Pakistan.

Speaking on the occasion, CGSS Executive Director Lt-Col Khalid Taimur Akram said many initiatives have been put forward and implemented by Uzbek President Shavkat Mirziyoyev for enhancing the stability and prosperity of Uzbekistan’s neighboring countries on important bilateral and regional forums during the recent years.

Uzbekistan and Afghanistan are immediate neighbors with a common border and have affected each other’s internal development on many occasions in the past. By keeping this regional proximity of both countries in mind, Uzbek President Shavkat Mirzayeyov has devised an excellent far-reaching proposal for not only developing and reconstructing the Afghan economy, but to provide the Afghan administration with much needed socio-economic support from important regional countries in Asia as well.

Other panelists highlighted the importance of promoting regional integration and explained about geographically and culturally close ties between Pakistan and Uzbekistan. They stressed the need for strategic and economic partnership for enhanced growth through integration and connectivity.