Pakistan and Uzbekistan pledge cooperation

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TASHKENT – Pakistan and Uzbekistan on Thursday pledged to move forward in all spheres, especially in energy sector, bilateral investment and trade. Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani and his Uzbek counterpart Prime Minister Shavkat Mirziyoyev discussed bilateral ties, situation in the region with particular focus on the transition in Afghanistan and the need for peace and stability in the war-ravaged country, in their talks held here at the International Business Centre.
Both termed peace and stability in Afghanistan vital for regional peace and said the two countries had high stakes in their common neighbour, also agreeing to enhance collaboration to ensure greater peace in the region. The PM, pointing to Pakistan’s energy requirements, said Pakistan was prepared to buy surplus electricity from neighbouring Central Asian countries including Uzbekistan, adding that the two countries could collaborate in the oil and gas sector.
Gilani said Pakistan’s Gwadar and Karachi seaports could facilitate trade between Central Asian republics, the Middle East, Africa and beyond, proposing a trilateral trade agreement between Afghanistan, Uzbekistan and Pakistan. The Uzbek prime minister said the two countries could increase trade five fold and offered Uzbekistan’s locally manufactured buses, trucks, machinery as well as cooperation in the agriculture sector.
Gilani offered assistance in the development of Uzbek human resources and called for increased cooperation, while also proposing the formation of a Joint Working Group (JWG).