PM pledges Pakistan’s resolve to forge cordial ties with Central Asian region
Under Ehaas Program, PM launches 'No one Sleeps Hungry' initiative for poor
Foreign Minister Kamilov conveyed cordial greetings of President Shavkat Mirziyoyev and reiterated Uzbekistan’s commitment to expand bilateral cooperation with Pakistan in diverse fields.
Prime Minister Imran Khan fondly recalled his interactions with President Mirziyoyev in Beijing and Bishkek and reiterated his invitation to the Uzbek President to visit Pakistan at the earliest convenience.
Underlining the historic and civilizational links between the two countries, the premier underlined that Pakistan highly valued its close fraternal ties with Uzbekistan and wished to deepen bilateral cooperation in all areas.
“Enhanced trade and regional connectivity are the cornerstones of economic growth and development,” Imran said.
The PM underlined Pakistan’s resolve to forge closer ties with Central Asia, covering trade, investments, energy, and people-to-people exchanges.
He expressed appreciation for the proposed Trans-Afghan railway project between Pakistan, Uzbekistan and Afghanistan and underscored Pakistan’s commitment to support all efforts for the earliest realization of this important connectivity project.
Imran highlighted that Pakistan offered the shortest route to international seas to all Central Asian Republics through Karachi and Gwadar ports and could be the gateway to landlocked Central Asia. He reaffirmed the resolve to facilitate Uzbekistan’s access to Pakistani ports.
Foreign Minister Dr Kamilov handed over a letter from President Mirziyoyev addressed to Prime Minister Imran Khan, inviting him to participate in a Central Asia-South Asia Connectivity Conference in Tashkent in July 2021.
The prime minister thanked for the invitation and mentioned that he was looking forward to visiting Uzbekistan.
He reaffirmed Pakistan’s steadfast support to the Afghan peace process, stressing the imperative of negotiated political solution.
Imran expressed the hope that the Afghan sides will seize this historic opportunity to work together constructively and secure an inclusive, broad-based and comprehensive negotiated political settlement.
According to a statement released by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Tuesday, Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi will be holding consultations with Dr Kamilov that will comprise an ‘entire gamut of bilateral ties’.
“Consistent with the leadership’s vision, Pakistan’s focus will be on building an enhanced economic partnership centred on peace, development and connectivity,” the statement added.
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The visit is a result of ongoing discussions between the two countries on enhancing bilateral cooperation in commerce and trade and other areas.
Both countries have been closely collaborating at regional and international fora, especially at the United Nations, Organisation of Islamic Cooperation, Economic Cooperation Organisation and Shanghai Cooperation Organisation.
The two countries are also closely cooperating to enhance regional connectivity, especially by early construction of the Trans-Afghan Railway Project between Pakistan, Afghanistan and Uzbekistan.
Prime Minister Imran Khan has formally launched ‘No one Sleeps Hungry’ programme to feed the poor.
Under this programme, laborers and deserving persons on roads will be provided food through mobile trucks.
Initially, the Ehsas Food Trucks are being operated in Islamabad and Rawalpindi and at later stage this programme will be further expanded to other parts of the country.
Addressing the launching ceremony, Prime Minister Imran Khan said ‘No one Sleeps Hungry’ programme is a step towards a welfare state, which always cares for its poor and deserving people.
Imran Khan said he always feels happy to see that deserving people are given shelter and food with honour and dignity at various Panahgahs established across Pakistan.
He advised to maintain quality of food being served at shelter homes and through Ehsas Mobile Trucks.
The Prime Minister also announced to launch a subsidy programme by June this year under which money will directly be transferred to the accounts of 30 million families. He said it will enable the poor and deserving people to procure kitchen items.
Imran Khan said similarly direct subsidy will be provided to farmers so that they can procure fertilizers and other agricultural inputs. He said this programme will also be launched in June this year.
Briefing the Prime Minister Special Assistant on Poverty Alleviation Dr Sania Nishtar said the mobile trucks will deliver food at designated points in the twin cities. She said this programme is being executed with the cooperation of Pakistan Bait-ul-Maal.
Managing Director Pakistan Bait-ul-Maal Aon Abbas Bappi said that hospitals and bus stops are especially targeted so that quality meals can be served to the deserving people.