Pak-Uzbek Growing Ties


The geopolitical and geo-economic dynamics in Central and South Asian regions are experiencing major variations. Among these modifications, two initiatives are of great potential in order to bring firmness and expectedness to the fast developing regional dynamics. One of them is Uzbek president’s initiative to hold the ‘Central and South Asia Connectivity Conference’, and second is PM Imran khan’s vision to be more active and engage in Central Asia at tactical level. Both countries are members of several international and regional podiums such as the United Nations (UN), Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO), Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) and Organization of Islamic Countries (OIC). Along with this, both nations also have robust associations through the joint ministerial meetings held on regular basis.  Central Asia in common and Uzbekistan in precise is a significant link once we look at the historical perspectives of the world while having a glimpse of the modern civilisations with its own glory and fascination, heritage and traditions. The above mentioned initiatives by Uzbekistan and Pakistan are aimed orbiting around the regional geopolitical and geo-economic dynamics to attain a peaceful, affluent, and enlightened advanced viewpoint. The two initiatives are likely to harvest far-reaching bilateral and regional consequences. Pakistan and Uzbekistan are dignified to play a major role in the future political and economic temperament of the region. The two countries are privileged to be led by leaders who have the vision, will and resolve to work together to steer their countries and the region towards a brighter future. On the other hand, in the contemporary scenario with the encouraging developments of the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), QTTA and BRI, there is an opportunity for both countries to further upsurge their trade volumes.  The recent visit of PM imran khan to Uzbekistan is another example of growing connectivity. He addressed the Uzbekistan-Pakistan Business Forum on Central and South Asia 2021: Regional Connectivity Challenges and Opportunities, in the Tashkant. He stated, “Pakistan has immense potential to connect Central Asia with rest of the world and become a hub of trade”. Under President Mirziyoyev, Uzbekistan is undertaking a huge economic alteration. Likewise, under Prime Minister Imran Khan, Pakistan has shifted its emphasis from geopolitics to geo-economics. Numerous initiatives are ongoing to change Pakistan into a regional trade and connectivity Centre. Under the ‘Vision Central Asia’ policy, Pakistan targets for an improved, concrete, effective, result-oriented and long-term supportable commitment with Central Asian countries by forging strategic partnerships. The policy has five pillars: political; trade & investment; energy & connectivity; security & defence; and people-to-people exchanges. Pakistan desires to enhance faster ties with Uzbekistan and other CARs in areas of trade, investment, energy and people-to-people connections in which CPEC will play an imperative role. Uzbekistan is a perfect match for BRI in Pakistan because of its crucial location for a logistic hub in Central Asia. Linking Gwadar to Central Asia as an organic expansion of BRI, and as a venture into revealing the economic potential of Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan. Amid US withdrawal from Afghanistan, Pakistan’s engagement with the central Asian countries is of great importance.  PM while addressing the forum in Uzbekistan categorically said, “Pakistan is keen for peace in Afghanistan and considers it vital for trade connectivity among the regional countries. Such trade linkages help in raising the living standards of the citizens”. PM Imran Khan referred to the cooperation among the neighbouring countries of the European Union that concentrated on bilateral trade arrangements for the benefit of their people. Hopefully the continuity of these initiatives will bring positive and long-lasting results in the region.

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