Center of Pakistan and International Relations (COPAIR) & Pakistan in the World, International Magazine co-hosted Iftar dinner in the honor of Diplomats of Central Asia + Azerbaijan format here in Islamabad at COPAIR. Dean of Diplomatic Corp, Ambassador Turkmenistan, H.E. Atadjan Movlamov & Spouse, Ambassador Azerbaijan, H.E Khazar Farhadov & Spouse, Ambassador Kazakhstan H.E. Yerzhan Kistafin and Ambassador of Kyrgyz Republic H.E. Ulanbek Totuiae, Third secretary of Embassy of Uzbekistan Mr. Oybek graced the event with their presence.
Speaking at the occasion, President COPAIR- Amna Munawwar Awan welcomed the excellences, and dignitaries for attending the dinner. During the deliberations, economic connectivity, tourism, youth, and women empowerment remained in focus. President COPAIR also urged for multilateral engagement through the promotion of trade, tourism, and people-to-people contacts.” With ‘peace’ and ‘regional connectivity as the main elements of its geo-economic strategy, Pakistan is going to make rapid strides in diverse fields – up to Central Asia and beyond. Ms. Munawwar further added that Pakistan must establish cordial relations with each Central Asian republic as each of them follow a distinct foreign policy.
The guest dignitaries lauded the undergoing projects and initiatives of COPAIR and also pledged cooperation to boost tourism and connectivity. Furthermore, diplomats also shared the experiences, traditions, and cultural environment of Ramazan in their countries. The participants agreed that all Islamic countries have similarities, and this month further strengthens the bond of unity and brotherhood among them. They were of the view that such gatherings provide opportunities for cultural exchange. Fortunately, leaders from Central Asia and South Asia — Uzbekistan and Pakistan — had already planned to connect the regions to increase trade and opportunity. In July, Uzbekistan’s President Shavkat Mirziyoyev and Pakistan’s Former Prime Minister Imran Khan met in Tashkent where they signed agreements to upgrade their countries’ economic relations. Central Asia needs to develop southern trade links to complement existing routes to the north, east, and west. The route to Pakistan has gotten the most notice, but the region’s Plan B is via Iran, which is isolated from many trade partners, but has the advantage of internal stability.
Since the disintegration of the Soviet Union, the energy-rich and land-locked Central Asian Republics (CARs) have assumed great significance in Pakistan’s foreign policy considerations. Pakistan’s geographical proximity with the Central Asian region, the geo-political and geo-economic significance of the CARs and the desire to become the gateway to Central Asia have stimulated Islamabad’s interest in building closer political and economic ties with the region, which includes five republics of the former Soviet Union: Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan. In this regard, Mr. Tazeen Akhtar- Editor of Pakistan in the World stated that Pakistan’s cultural, political, religious, and trade relations and linkages with Central Asia are not anything new. Both sides have a lengthy history of mutual interaction and a closer relationship.