Islamabad, July 16, 2021 (PPI-OT):During his historic visit to Uzbekistan, Prime Minister Imran Khan, attended the inaugural session of the International Conference “Central and South Asia: Regional Connectivity; Challenges and opportunities”, today. The Conference has been organized by the Government of Uzbekistan under the special initiative of President of Uzbekistan Mr. Shavkat Mirziyoyev to deliberate on the prospects inter-regional cooperation in Central and South Asia for trade and transport connectivity.
Addressing the inaugural session, the Prime Minister highlighted the importance of regional connectivity as driver of economic growth and progress constituting an imperative for modern societies. He said that the two regions form a natural contagious landmass and having all the more reasons to reconnect with each other. The common geography, geo-economic dynamics, and cultural ethos favoured connectivity between the two regions for creating a win-win situation for all.
He mentioned enormous natural and human resources potential and big consumer markets of the two regions, which could transform lives of their people. Central Asian states are stable and growing economies, which offer big natural energy resources and a market of 80 million. Through creating greater economic activities, cost effective trade and more employment opportunities. He said that Pakistan attached high value to regional connectivity as it was an important policy plank of his government’s “Vision Central Asia.”
Pakistan was signatory to a number of bilateral, regional and international traffic and transit agreements, including the TIR Convention and the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement. Pakistan was also ready to offer its Gwadar and Karachi seaports to Central Asia and beyond to connect with the Arabian Sea for trade and transit. The Prime Minister also underlined the importance of resolving international conflicts and disputes in the regions in order to reap benefits of the peace.
He urged for restoring peace and stability in Afghanistan, and resolving Jammu and Kashmir dispute for larger interest of the people of the two regions. The Prime Minister underscored that Pakistan will be most affected due to instability and insecurity in Afghanistan. It has always supported a comprehensive and inclusive negotiated political settlement in Afghanistan. Pakistan sincerely facilitated the Afghan Peace Process and Intra-Afghan Negotiations. To blame Pakistan for the internal conflict in Afghanistan would be unfair. The President of Afghanistan and Foreign Ministers/dignitaries from more than 22 countries are attending the Connectivity Conference.
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