Tuesday May 17, 2022

Pakistan, Uzbekistan agree to pursue: Trans-Afghan railway line project

By Our Correspondent
December 30, 2020

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan and Uzbekistan’s Minister for Transport Makhkamov Ilkham agreed to pursue Trans-Afghan railway line project ‘Mazar-e-Sharif – Kabul – Peshawar’.

The latter called on the premier and both discussed matters relating to bilateral relations, regional connectivity, and peace and security in the region.

The PM supported Uzbek efforts to secure financing for the project by signing Joint Appeal Letter, addressed to the heads of various international financial institutions (IFIs) by the heads of state/ government of Uzbekistan, Afghanistan and Pakistan.

The PM underscored Pakistan’s fraternal ties with Uzbekistan, based on common religious, historic and cultural bonds and reaffirmed the commitment to further deepen bilateral cooperation in all spheres.

The PM recalled his last meeting with Uzbek President Shavkat Mirziyoyev and stated that Pakistan looked forward to his visit at the earliest convenience. He underlined Pakistan’s resolve to forge closer ties with Central Asia, covering trade, investment, energy and people-to-people contacts. The PM particularly highlighted the importance of joint efforts to promote regional connectivity for economic growth and development of the region. In this regard, the PM said that Pakistani seaports provided a great opportunity to Central Asian Republics (CARs) for access to the Indian Ocean.

Imran Khan stated that he had long underlined that there was no military solution to the conflict in Afghanistan. He highlighted Pakistan’s positive contribution to the Afghan peace process and underscored that an inclusive and broad-based political solution would help establish durable peace and stability and contribute to regional connectivity progress and prosperity. The Uzbek minister conveyed the cordial greetings and best wishes of the Uzbek president and noted that President Mirziyoyev was looking forward to visiting Pakistan. On behalf of President Mirziyoyev, he also reiterated the invitation to the prime minister to visit Uzbekistan. He also reaffirmed Uzbekistan’s desire to have deeper bilateral trade and economic ties as well as enhanced connectivity with Pakistan. Railways Minister Azam Khan Swati and Advisor for Commerce Abdul Razak Dawood were present during the meeting. The Uzbek minister is on a one-day visit to Islamabad to discuss in detail rail and road cooperation from Central Asia to Pakistani seaports.