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Protocol on Joint Security Commission signed with Uzbekistan

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ISLAMABAD:

Pakistan and Uzbekistan signed a historic protocol on Tuesday to establish a multifaceted Joint Security Commission (JSC) that would help in unveiling the geo-economic paradigm shift in the region, National Security Adviser (NSA) Dr Moeed Yusuf said on Tuesday.

The protocol covered wide-ranging security related matters of mutual interest and it would establish coordination mechanism between Pakistan’s National Security Division and the Security Council of Uzbekistan under their respective heads, Dr Yusuf told a press conference.

Dr Yusuf unveiled the details of the JSC after holding talks with a five-member Uzbek delegation headed by the Uzbek Security Council Secretary Lt Gen Victor Makhmudov. He added that the JSC would function in different working groups in diverse fields including security, defence and counter terrorism.

“Pakistan’s entire focus is on shifting to a geo-economic paradigm. “Uzbekistan due to its close proximity with Afghanistan is a very crucial element in fulfilling our geo-economic paradigm. It is an historic day as both the countries have signed the JSC Protocol,” he said.

“[We] will collaborate in diverse fields like security, defence and associated issues,” he added. “Under the JSC various stakeholders, including ministry of defence, Foreign Office, National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA), Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) will participate,” he said.

“The National Security Division will act as the central coordinating body. There are already a number of agreements related to defence and military cooperation with Uzbekistan that will bring under the umbrella of JSC; and all previous inactive bilateral agreements will be activated and implemented.”

The Uzbek delegation is on a three-day visit to Pakistan. Secretary of the Security Council (National Security Advisor) of Uzbekistan Lt-Gen Victor Makhmudov called on Prime Minister Imran Khan here on Tuesday and discussed bilateral issues.

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The Prime Minister emphasized high-level interaction to further strengthen bilateral cooperation in all areas including economic, trade, investment, energy, security and education sectors.

In the regional context, Prime Minister Imran Khan underscored the importance of a peaceful and stable Afghanistan and timely completion of regional infrastructure projects.

The Prime Minister reiterated his invitation to the Uzbek President to visit Pakistan at his earliest convenience.

National Security Advisor Dr. Moeed Yousaf and senior officials were present during the meeting. While recalling telephonic conversation with the President of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev, Prime Minister Imran Khan underlined the importance of enhanced trade and economic linkages, and reiterated Pakistan’s support to regional connectivity.

At the Torkham Border Terminal, Dr Yusuf said, the Uzbek NSA would inspect four transit trucks coming from Uzbekistan. He noted that Uzbekistan wanted the enhanced connectivity and access to the Arabian Sea, which was also beneficial to Pakistan to increase its economic footprint.

Dr Moeed Yusuf said that peace in Afghanistan was a matter of national security for Pakistan, adding that it was the right of the people of Afghanistan to have peace after facing protracted violence for the past four decades.

“It is propitious that both Pakistan and Uzbekistan have similar stance on Afghanistan issue that the entire world should be in constructive engagement with Afghan government to avoid any humanitarian crisis there,” he said.

He regretted the international community’s silence over India’s massive human rights violations and state-sponsored terrorism in Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir, and New Delhi’s expansionist vision, which was leading the entire region nowhere.




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