Islamabad: Ambassador of the Republic of Uzbekistan, Aybek Arf Usmanov, hosted an ‘Iftar-dinner’ reception for a select group of Islamabad-based journalist on Saturday at a local hotel.
Managing-Director of Associated Press of Pakistan (APP), Muhammad Asim Khichi, also attended the reception, though he arrived towards the fag end of the function. Still, the MD APP and Ambassador Usmanov had enough time to discuss matters of mutual interest, especially establishing and expanding professional services between the state news agencies of the two countries in field of information and news sharing.
Sparing a few minutes to reflect his thought and opinion on national issues of two countries and the geo-political situation in the region, Ambassador Usmanov said that the government and people of Uzbekistan hold Pakistan as a brotherly country in their hearts and they have great respect for the people of Pakistan. Talking to ‘The News’ the Uzbek envoy said: “I will refrain from commenting on any political issue because these are internal matters of any country and it is against diplomatic norms to talk about internal matters of any country”.
“As the Government of Uzbekistan and Uzbek people hold Pakistan and its people in high esteem, we are always forthcoming in case there is a need. Whether it was the earthquake or the floods, Government and people of Uzbekistan responded promptly and sent relief goods for people in the affected areas,” Ambassador Usmanov added. The Uzbek envoy was keen towards promoting people-to-people contact, especially in the field of art and culture as well as sharing religious heritage by organizing exhibition of historic religious sights as famous mosques and shrines of Pakistan in Uzbekistan and Uzbek heritage exhibition to Pakistan.
He also expressed hope to increase bilateral trade between the two countries. “Pakistan is very important for Uzbekistan like all other Central Asian states for being the best trade route. We would very much like to explore more and more possibilities in the sector with Pakistan,” Ambassador Usmanov said. Expressing his thoughts about the regional situation and conflicts, Ambassador Usmanov said his country strictly follows the policy of non-interference but at the same time strongly believes that conflicts and disagreements could not be resolved through use of force. “Both, US as well as the Russian envoys visited Tashkant in wake of the war in Ukraine. However, our government told both that Uzbekistan will never take sides in any conflict and will always advocate for a peaceful and negotiated solution to the conflicts as violence never brings about positive results or peace,” the Uzbek envoy stressed.
He said that the war has made a global impact in shape of heightening inflation, disrupted trade because new routes for transportation were required to be explored and in every event it made the things much dearer than before.
Source: The News