Central and South Asia Connectivity Conference hosted by President Uzbekistan Concludes with Positive Response from All Sides

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Tazeen Akhtar

International conference on Central and South Asia connectivity envisioned and hosted by President Shavkat Mirziyoyev concluded here in Tashkent on 16 July 2021 afternoon with positive notes from all sides especially Pakistan and Afghnistan.

It was highly important conference as it was attended by the heads of governments of both countries that are central in case of connectivity between the two regions. Moreover the foreign ministers of Russia, China, Turkey, Kazakhstan,Turkmenistan, Tajikistan the heads of many regional and world organizations were also present.

Secretary General UNO Mr Antonio Gutress addressed the conference virtually and expressed his support and well wishes for President Uzbekistan for his intiative to connect the two regions.

Vice President of European Commission Mr Joseph Borel shared the experience of EU with respect to connectivity. He wished the best to the President and partner states on the road towards interconnecting their regions.

Repersentatives from Council of Independent States, Turkic Council, Economic Cooperation Organization and other organizations were also among the speakers who highlighted the benefits of connectivity.

In the preliminarty session the stage was having four dignitaries in the chair. They were President Shavkat Mirziyoyev in the center, Prime Minister Imran Khan on one and President Ashraf Ghani on the other side.

Vice President of EU Commission Mr Joseph Borel was there to express the importance of connectivity as the European Union is the brightest example of connectivity. The member states of European Union achieved more develpment only after entering into the union softening the borders and barriers.

When we talk about connectivity between Central and South Asian Nations, Pakistan is extending all possible support to the idea and Prime Minister Imran Khan is reciprocating with full fledged sincere and warm feelings and acceptance to the vision of President Uzbekistan as it was observed earlier on 14 April 2021 first virtual summit between the two leaders.

The other two countries that are supposed to extend full cooperation to the vision are Afghanistan and India. President Ashraf Ghani’s presence in the conference depicts that Afghanistan Government is ready to play its role in this regard. Similarly India also seems willing to move towards that direction as a delegation under the leadership of a union minister was also present in the conference. Earlier President Shavkat held virutal summit with Prime Minister Narender Modi in April 2021. Both leaders discussed bilateral cooperation in all possible spheres and it was agreed upon that both countries will keep in touch to enhance the interactive meeting and contacts.

We can hope that both Afghanistan and India will remain committed to the connection initiative. There are some differences between Afghanistan and Pakistan. India also has a big dispute on Jammu Kashmir with Pakistan. The efforts to connect the two regions can be successful if the countries do not raise their bilateral disputes on the forums like the conference held by President Shavkat. Such conferences are for the betterment of all. Therefore we need to see the efforts in true sense of the well being of the humanity and not with the mirror of bilateral differences.

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