Joint Press stake-out during Prime Minister’s visit to Tashkent on 17-18 November 2015

Islamabad, November 18, 2015 (PPI-OT): I wish to express my gratitude to His Excellency, Mr. Islam Karimov, President of the Republic of Uzbekistan, the Government and the people of Uzbekistan forth warm and cordial welcome and generous hospitality extended to me and members of my delegation, ever since our arrival in the beautiful city of Tashkent.

I am delighted to visit Uzbekistan, once again, and its capital Tashkent, a symbol of our common history and heritage. I last visited Tashkent in June 1992. I am touched by the goodwill that the people of Uzbekistan have always expressed for Pakistan. In return, I bring with me the greetings and good wishes of the people of Pakistan, for their Uzbek brethren.

Pakistan and Uzbekistan enjoy centuries old bonds of history, faith and culture. Our people had extensive and fruitful contacts with each other, even when our modern States were not yet conceived.

In Pakistan, we hold the Uzbek leadership in high esteem. We are impressed with the progress Uzbekistan has achieved in a short span of two decades after its independence. The credit goes to the farsightedness and statesmanship of President Karimov’s leadership and the disciplined and diligent Uzbek people.

Pakistan-Uzbekistan bilateral relations are multifaceted. These are characterized by high-level engagements. We need to sustain this momentum of high-level contacts. Our common desire to enhance connectivity, deepen energy cooperation, expand trade and enhance counter terrorism collaboration, provides a good basis for injecting new vigour in the relationship.

Earlier today, I had in-depth and cordial exchange of views with President Islam Karimov on all issues of mutual interest. Our meetings were marked by deep warmth, cordiality and convergences. Uzbekistan is blessed with mineral and energy resources. The country is in a position to meet the energy needs of Pakistan. We discussed the possibility of import of electricity and gas from Uzbekistan.

My Government is keen to enhance connectivity in the region. The launch of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, prioritization of building and upgrading infrastructure, connecting Central Asia with our port facilities and our accession to TIR Convention and WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA), should all help in better integrating the region. Uzbekistan has also established rail connection with Afghanistan. We are pursuing rail and road connectivity with Afghanistan on a fast track basis. Once this materializes, landlocked Central Asia will have good connectivity with Pakistan and through its ports access to the Arabian Sea.

Pakistan is grateful to Uzbekistan for its support to Pakistan’s bid for full membership of the SCO, which is an important regional organization. We will continue to count on Uzbekistan for its guidance and support in developing relations with SCO.

The two countries are fully aware of the multiple challenges of terrorism, militancy, drug trafficking and organized crime facing the region. There was complete unanimity of views and understanding that only through mutual cooperation, greater coordination and concerted efforts the existing and emerging challenges could be overcome.

We have today signed important Agreements and MoUs for enhancing bilateral cooperation in various fields.

Once again, I wish to thank my brother, for the gracious hospitality extended to us.

Pakistan-Uzbekistan Dostligi Abadiy Bolsin

(Long live Pakistan-Uzbekistan friendship)

For more information, contact:
Mr. Aizaz Ahmad Ch
Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Government of Pakistan
Tell: +92-51-9205494
Fax: +92-51-9204202
Cell: +92-336-5644459