On 24th February 2022, representatives of research centers of Uzbekistan as part of a delegation from the Center for Economic Research and Reforms, the Institute for Strategic and Regional Studies, the International Institute of Central Asia, the Information and Analytical Center for International Relations took part in a round table organized jointly with the Center for Global and Strategic Studies (CGSS) of Pakistan in Islamabad.
The discussion commenced with the welcome address by Lieutenant General Aamer Riaz, HI(M), (Retd), President, Center for Global & Strategic Studies (CGSS), Islamabad. He welcomed the delegation of experts from Uzbekistan and all the worthy speaker. He shed light on the emerging socioeconomic and political scenario of Central and South Asia. He stated that peace in Afghanistan is crucial for economic expansion. He also enlightened the audience about the prospects of cooperation between Pakistan and Uzbekistan.
Ambassador Doniyor Kmuqurbanov, Director, Information and Analytical Center for International Relations, Uzbekistan shared his keynote remarks. He thanked Center for Global & Strategic Studies (CGSS) for organizing the discussion on significant theme. He stated that Pakistan and Uzbekistan relationship has been touching new heights due to cooperation in number of fields. He discussed developmental strategies of President Mirziyoyev and Prime Minister Imran Khan to foster regional connectivity.
Dr. Anvar Kobilov, Head of the sector in Center for Economic Research and Reforms under the Administration of the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan stated that trade cooperation between Pakistan and Uzbekistan has increased by five times in the last five years. In 2021, trade turnover remained $181million. He enlightened the audience that 71 MOUs have been signed in different areas, which are significant to solidify joint relations. Dr. Anvar also proposed future prospects for joint ventures between Pakistan and Uzbekistan while highlighting existing potential.
According to Pakistani analysts, the leaders of the two countries have played a special role in strengthening bilateral relations. Since 2018, Shavkat Mirziyoyev and Imran Khan have held nine meetings in various formats, which contributed to the active promotion of mutually beneficial cooperation in priority areas.
The theme of the second session was Enhancing connection of Central and South Asian regions: Vision of Uzbekistan and Pakistan. Mr. Ashfaq Ahmed Gondal, Former Federal Secretary of Information and Broadcasting stated that connectivity is a cornerstone for enhancing coordination. He stated that Mizar-e-Sharif Kabul Peshawar rail project is significant for economic expansion and build relations at higher level. Mr. Ashfaq also shed light on the grand concept of Central-South Asia regional connectivity. He stated that strengthening people-to-people contacts are necessary to revive centuries old ties and spiritual legacy between Central-South Asia.
Pakistani experts noted that thanks to Mirziyoyev's proactive policy, a "completely new political atmosphere" has emerged in Central Asia, which allowed for a new, more ambitious initiative to bring the two regions of Central and South Asia closer together in 2021.
The Pakistani expert gave a positive assessment of the dynamics of bilateral cooperation, the development of processes in Central Asia, as well as the prospects for strengthening ties between Central and South Asia.
Shabir Ahmad Khan noted that thanks to the new regional course of Uzbekistan under the leadership of President Shavkat Mirziyoyev, a favorable political atmosphere has been created in Central Asia, which promotes the strengthening of mutual trust, establishment of mutually beneficial cooperation. The processes taking shape in the region provide good opportunities for enhancing Pakistan's bilateral and multilateral partnership with Central Asian countries.
As a result of the meeting, an agreement was reached to work out practical steps for the implementation of joint programs and events, including research work, seminars, conferences, as well as expert meetings with the participation of representatives of Central Asian countries and the Center for the Study of Russia, China and Central Asia at Peshawar University.