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Editorial 

President of Uzbekistan Shavket Mirziyoyev was in Islamabad on a state-level visit at the invitation of Prime Minister Imran Khan. Given the long-term partnership, this visit is focused on deciding the Next Steps in the Strategic Partnership.

The executive leadership of Pakistan and Uzbekistan held consultations on a range of prospects including media cooperation, tourism, sports, religion, environment, and climate change.

Apart from sighing of MoUs and meeting with PM Khan, Uzbek President Shavkat met President of Pakistan Mr. Arif Alfi at President House and discussed the issues of bilateral interests including regional and international matters.

Both heads of state expressed their satisfaction over the degree of prevalent cooperation and asserts to further deepen the mutual trust. He appreciated the Vision Central Asia of Pakistan which seeks close integration and regional connectivity with Central Asian resource-rich markets and offer land routes to the Arabian Sea for global trade.

It is worth mentioning here that the joint statement of state-level bilateral exchange is termed as Next Step in Partnership where Pakistan and Uzbekistan will shape their bilateral relations into a strategic partnership focusing on all-encompassing areas of cooperation including security, economy, science, technology, defense, trade, energy, and regional connectivity.

It will usher in a new era of socio-economic development in the region in line with the National Security Policy document which emphasized the centrality of geo-economics. It is a good notion that Pakistan is finding like-minded partners in the immediate neighborhood for mutual benefits instead of relying on European partners for transactional relationships marred by geopolitics.

The pivot to Central Asia and East Asia would help Pakistan to diversify its foreign policy and explore new export markets for its goods breaking dependence barriers on narrow markets.

In March 48th Session of the OIC (Organization of Islamic Cooperation) Council of Foreign Ministers was held in Islamabad, Pakistan.  The 48th Summit of the OIC CFM was led by the theme “partnering for unity, justice, and development,” and it addressed 140 resolutions on significant contemporary challenges affecting the Muslim world.

Pakistan in the summit meant to promote harmony and a shared sense of purpose to strengthen the unity which would help in promoting the integrity of the justice system for the Muslims suffering in Kashmir and Palestine.

In addition to that, Pakistan aimed to encourage cooperation to advance the development and prosperity in the Muslim World in accordance with the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals and to guarantee swift recovery from the pandemic and its aftereffects.

From Pakistan’s view, the CFM was especially significant as it provided a bigger audience and platform to emphasize the key issues of realizing the Kashmiri people’s right to self-determination and the need to control the rise of Islamophobia.

This important summit drew over 800 delegates. At the ministerial level, 46 nations took part in the debate, with the remaining countries represented by senior officials.  The conference’s featured guest was Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi.

This was a historic moment for not only the Muslim world but also for China to participate in such a high-level Islamic moot.  This signals Beijing’s growing partnerships and interests in the Muslim world.  It is also significant for Pak-China relations as this was the first OIC meeting hosted by Pakistan where China was part of the conference.

Deliberations on the situation in Palestine, Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK), and Afghanistan was on the agenda. The meeting also discussed the challenges faced by Africans and Muslims in Europe and events in Yemen, Libya, Sudan, Somalia, and Syria. Other topics addressed in the meeting were Islamophobia, international terrorism, and economic, cultural, social, humanitarian, and scientific cooperation.

The Prime Minister of Pakistan, Imran Khan urged the Muslim countries to mediate in ending the war invaded by Russia in Ukraine which affected the rest of the world too. The session presented an opportunity for Pakistan to highlight its dedication to the organization’s values and aims, to build stronger unity among the Muslim world to address and deal with the problem faced by the Muslim world.

The world is facing another war as the crisis and conflict between Ukraine and Russia is growing creating an immense humanitarian disaster. There is a need for dialogue and through the use of diplomacy, this conflict and tension can be reduced to save innocent people from suffering.

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