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Prime Minister’s address at banquet hosted in his honour by President of Uzbekistan in Tashkent

Islamabad, November 18, 2015 (PPI-OT):Your Excellency, Mr. Islam Karimov,

President of the Republic of Uzbekistan,

Mrs, Tatiana Karimova,

Honourable Ministers and Parliamentarians,

Excellencies,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

I am delighted to be in this historic city, after all these years. I was one of the first Heads of Government to visit your beautiful country soon after independence. That reflected my Government’s commitment to forge closer ties with our brothers in Uzbekistan.

Thanks to your gracious invitation, I am once again enjoying Uzbek warmth and hospitality.

I particularly value this opportunity to renew my friendship with your Excellency and to further strengthen brotherly relations between our two countries.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Pakistan and Uzbekistan are bound by common faith, shared history, and cultural affinity. Our deep historical bonds are reinforced by geographical proximity.

We have a commonality of views on major issues, and a shared commitment to work for the promotion of peace, progress and prosperity in the region and beyond. This is important for socio-economic development of our own people.

Excellency,

We follow with great interest the economic development that Uzbekistan has achieved since its independence.

Your visionary leadership, Excellency, has been a source of continuity, stability and strength for Uzbekistan. The model of economic development conceived and implemented under your sagacious leadership has produced remarkable results.

Ladies and gentlemen,

Through continued high-level exchanges, such as this, we should be able to promote greater trade and economic cooperation, enhance security related cooperation, and further expand energy collaboration.

We also need to broaden the horizons of bilateral cooperation in other areas such as agriculture, industry, education, science and technology, natural resources and climate change.

While our political relations are marked by convergence of views and understanding on a range of issues, our economic and trade relations, fall far short of the actual potential.

Excellency,

We thank Uzbekistan for its support to Pakistan’s membership of SCO. This will facilitate our cooperation for fostering peace and stability in the region.

On the security side, our cooperation to address common challenges, including extremism and terrorism and narcotics trafficking, should continue to increase, both in bilateral and multilateral forums.

Distinguished Guests,

Pakistani ports offer the shortest land route to Uzbekistan for access to the Arabian Sea through Karachi and Gwadar ports. The unique geographical locations of Pakistan and Uzbekistan are mutually advantageous for the two countries.

My Government has a vision for establishing energy and infrastructure connectivity with Central Asian Republics, including Uzbekistan, to facilitate trade and commerce in the region. To set up the requisite institutional arrangements and infrastructure we have already acceded to the TIR Convention and the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement. Similarly, the work on developing China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) is also progressing well.

Excellency,

In Pakistan, we are witnessing an economic turnaround. Today, international financial institutions, credit rating agencies as well as private investors and our trading partners have a more favourable view of Pakistan and its economic and investment potential.

We are also determined to eradicate the scourge of terrorism and extremism from Pakistan. The Operation Zarb-e-Azb is about to be completed successfully. Moreover, concerted intelligence driven, law enforcement operations under our National Action Plan have helped a great deal in improving the security situation in Pakistan.

Excellency,

In accordance with our vision of peaceful neighbourhood, we are sincerely following the policy of good neighbourly relations with all countries in the region, including Afghanistan and India. We firmly believe that peace in Afghanistan is essential for peace and stability in the region. We are also ready for dialogue with India, for resolving all outstanding issues.

In pursuing peace and friendship with all, I am inspired by the immortal words of the famous Uzbek poet philosopher, Alisher Navoi, “Know all humankind: The greatest curse is enmity; the greatest blessing – amity.”

Excellency,

I look forward to welcoming you, Mr. President, to Pakistan, at your earliest convenience, to reciprocate your gracious hospitality.

As I conclude, I pray for the good health and happiness of His Excellency President Islam Karimov, and for the continued progress and prosperity of the brotherly people of Uzbekistan.

Long live Pakistan-Uzbekistan Friendship.

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

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