Pakistan, Uzbekistan agree to strengthen ties through strategic partnership

Tashkent: Pakistan and Uzbekistan this week agreed to further strengthen their bilateral relations through strategic partnership and enhanced cooperation in the areas of trade, economy, culture, tourism and connectivity for mutual benefit.
Prime Minister Imran Khan and President Shavkat Mirziyoyev of Uzbekistan after holding wide ranging bilateral talks signed Joint Declaration on the Establishment of Strategic Partnership between Pakistan and Uzbekistan with focus of increased cooperation in the areas of trade and economy.

The leaders of the two countries exchanged views on the current status of bilateral relations in all areas of mutual interest and agreed to further strengthen their multifaceted ties in political, trade and economic, energy, communication, science and technology, education and cultural spheres. The two leaders also exchanged views on issues of international and regional significance including the situation related to COVID-19 and agreed to build further cooperation in this regard.
Reaffirming their commitment to strengthening fraternal ties, based on religious, cultural and historical commonalities, the leaders expressed satisfaction at the continued progress in bilateral relations and announced the establishment of a strategic partnership for mutual benefit of the two countries and nations.

Noting that Pakistan was among the first countries to recognize the independence of the Republic of Uzbekistan in 1991, the leaders congratulated each other on approaching the 30th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two brotherly countries and agreed to celebrate it in a befitting manner.
The leaders agreed to expand multifaceted bilateral cooperation in all areas of mutual interest and stressed the importance of closer coordination based on coinciding positions in the international arena. To this end, the leaders decided to use the existing political and economic mechanisms between the two countries, including consultations between Ministries of Foreign Affairs.

The leaders expressed satisfaction with the growing pace of inter-parliamentary cooperation and agreed on the regular exchange of parliamentary delegations to further deepen bilateral ties.
The Pakistan side highly appreciated the results of the visit of the parliamentary delegation of the Republic of Uzbekistan to Islamabad in June 2021 to attend the 2nd meeting of ECO Parliamentary Assembly. The Uzbek side confirmed the invitation to the Chairman of the Senate of Pakistan Mr. S. Sanjrani to pay a visit to Uzbekistan.
The Prime Minister underlined the importance of structured engagement between Pakistan and Uzbekistan under the five pillars of Pakistan’s “Vision Central Asia” policy i.e political, trade and investment, energy and connectivity, security and defence, and people-to-people contacts.

The Prime Minister also outlined his vision of “Naya” Pakistan embedded in values of social justice, education for all, peace, prosperity and economic development of the people.
The leaders expressed satisfaction at the level of bilateral cooperation within the framework of international organizations and reaffirmed their commitment to continue supporting each other in the UN, SCO, OIC, ECO and other international and regional forums on issues of mutual interest.

As members of the UN Human Rights Council, the Parties expressed their readiness for joint action to suppress violations of human rights and counter Islamophobia, as well as strengthening interfaith harmony.
The PM emphasized on the urgent need for peaceful resolution of all outstanding regional disputes and conflicts to fully utilize the enormous potential of connectivity between Central Asia and South Asia
The two sides noted with satisfaction that over the 20 years of its activity, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) has taken a significant place in international and regional organizations, and contributed in promoting security, stability and sustainable development of the region.

The importance of further strengthening cooperation at the SCO and multifaceted cooperation between the member states were emphasized. In this context, the parties agreed to collaborate and support in promoting the initiatives of the two countries aimed at deepening interaction within the SCO.

The leaders discussed the security situation in detail in Afghanistan and the ongoing peace process. The parties stressed the necessity to resolve the conflict through Afghan-led and Afghan-owned political process through peaceful and inclusive negotiations resulting in comprehensive political settlement.

President of Uzbekistan highly appreciated the role of Pakistan in promoting the peace process in Afghanistan and Pakistan’s contributions to socio-economic development of Afghanistan. Prime Minister of Pakistan hailed Uzbekistan’s efforts for the socio-economic reconstruction of Afghanistan through the implementation of a number of significant projects, the main one of which is the construction of the Termez-Mazar-i-Sharif – Kabul – Peshawar railway.

Both leaders expressed their readiness to maintain a regular dialogue and build constructive cooperation in the field of security and defence. Expressing satisfaction with the level of cooperation between the Defence Ministries, the leaders agreed to continue cooperation in conducting joint military exercises and trainings, as well as in the field of vocational training and the exchange of professional expertise between the militaries of the two countries.
The parties expressed their readiness to expand cooperation between the law enforcement agencies of the two countries, in particular, in the fight against terrorism and drug trafficking.
The leaders agreed that trade and economic cooperation is a key priority for strengthening the partnership between the two countries.

Recognizing the enormous economic potential to further build up mutually beneficial relations, the parties agreed to increase the volume of bilateral trade through diversification of trade, expansion of business contacts, exchange of trade delegations and simplification of the visa regime. The parties welcomed the signing of the Agreement on Transit Trade as an important tool for expanding bilateral trade.

Both leaders noted the importance of regular meetings of the Joint Uzbek-Pakistan Inter-Governmental Commission on Trade, Economic and Scientific and Technical cooperation. The Joint Declaration was signed on July 15, 2021, in Tashkent in duplicate in Uzbek and English.