Uzbekistan Pakistan Cooperation Prospects Discussed in Meeting between Ambassador & Editor

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Islamabad; 20 May 2021 – Ambassador of Uzbekistan, H.E Oybek Arif Usmanov has said that Uzbekistan can provide qualitative cotton seeds, cotton and yarn that can produce the best results in manufacturing of textile products. Prime Minister Imran Khan has a vision about cultural, historical, traditional bonds between the two countries. His visit to Uzbekistan will further boost bilateral cooperation.

He was discussing the prospects of converting cordial political relations into strong trade and business cooperation for mutual benefit  in a meeting with Editor Tazeen Akhtar at his office on 20 May 2021.

Ambassador noted that when you are working on promotion of relations, you need first of all , the people know you in true sense. They can identify you, recognize you. Therefore we are working on introducing ourselves to the people of Pakistan and we seek cooperation from the media in this regard.

He expressed satisfaction on the present status of  relations with Pakistan and different organs of the government including Pakistan Military. He thanked government of Pakistan for its offer to use its ports for Uzbekistan. He recalled first virtual summit between President Shavkat and Prime Minister Imran Khan few weeks ago as the accelerator in furthering the meaningful cooperation in different sectors.

Mr. Tazeen Akhtar shared that majority of Pakistanis already know about Uzbekistan but in another way. They know Imam Bukhari, Zaheer ud Din Baber, Bu Ali Sina, Al-Beruni, Tashkent, Samarkent, Bukhara but only a few know that these personalities and places belong to Uzbekistan.

He gave another example of this phenomenon from the renown love story of Sohni Mahinwal. Everyone , not only in Pakistan but in India as well, is familiar with these two characters because many books have been published and many movies have been produced in Pakistan as well as in India on this historical love story. But no one knows that Mahinwal of this story hailed from Uzbekistan. His real name was Izzat Baig. He came to India, presently Pakistan, Punjab, District Gujrat leading a trade caravan.

He said that people of Pakistan need only to be told that this personality and this place is from Uzbekistan.

Ambassador said that we are thankful for cooperation of ministry of foreign affairs and gov of Pakistan for extending all out support for our work to enhancing connectivity that will give rise to bilateral trade, tourism, especially the Ziyaarat Tourism and economy as a whole.

Editor Tazeen Akhtar congratulated the Ambassador of successful pilot project of truck trade between two countries through Afghanistan. He said that the Train project Tashkent, Mazar e Sharif, Kabul, Peshawer is another game changer in this region if we call CPEC as one. If the governments can make it convenient to have visa and buy a ticket from Peshawer , we will see that the tourists of Pakistan will forget the traditional destinations and the trains will be flooded with Pakistani tourists to Tashkent.

Ambassador shared that we can work on building close contacts between the media orgs of both countries. They can exchange informative articles about their respective countries.

Editor Tazeen Akhtar suggested Uzbekistan dishes can be another source of introduction. One dish parties can be arranged in which we can offer one dish of Uzbek Pulao or Uzbek Kebab etc.

He said on a lighter note that Pakistanis are fond of food. If you ask a Pakistani “where are you coming from”? He will in most cases say ” coming from having lunch”. Further if you ask one ” where are you going”? Ones’ reply can be ” going to have dinner”. Therefore food is one of the best ways to reach the hearts of Pakistanis.

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(Reference ; Mushtaq Sufi published in Dawn / Izzat Baig, a princely trader from central Asia, leading his trade caravan on his way to Delhi, stops at Gujrat. He goes to a shop to buy pottery and sees young Sohni (the beautiful), the daughter of the owner. Smitten by Cupid, they fall in love. Izzat Baig, a noble Turk, forgets his wares and caravan. He decides to stay close to his love in Gujrat and becomes a cow herd (Mahinwal) on the other side of the Chenab. Sohni surreptitiously crosses the river every night, riding a baked pitcher to meet Mahinwal. One night, Sohni’s sister-in-law, jealous of her rendezvous, replaces the baked pitcher with an unbaked one, well aware of the consequences. A poet very aptly describes Sohni’s dilemma: ‘If I go ahead, I will face a certain death and if I retreat, my love will prove to be false’.

Sohni in her bid to cross the river, aware of the unbaked pitcher’s fragility, is swept away by the furious waves of the Chenab. Bulleh Shah reminding us of Sohni talks of ‘the nosy banks of the Chandar’. Mahinwal after knowing what befell his Sohni, jumps into the river longing to join her in eternity. Thus Sohni’s death becomes an abiding metaphor for supreme sacrifice in love and the Chenab that of an ordeal, of perilous journey to the unknown. The tale has been penned down by many including the great poets like Hasham Shah, Qadar Yar and Mian Mohammad.)

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