The China Pakistan Study Center (CPSC) at the Institute of Strategic Studies Islamabad (ISSI) organized a round table conference with the diplomatic heads of Central Asia and Azerbaijan.
Ambassador of Turkmenistan and Dean of Diplomatic Corps Mr. Atajan Mamlamov led the delegation of Azerbaijan. Other members of the delegation included Ambassador of Uzbekistan, Mr. Aybak Usmanov, Ambassador of Kazakhstan, Mr. Yerzhan Kistafan, Mr. Tamerlan Khalilov (Charge d’Affairs of Azerbaijan), Mr. Seyedjun Shafif (Charge d’Affairs of Tajikistan) and Mr. Melis Moldaliev, Counselor of the Kyrgyz Republic.
Director General ISSI Ambassador Sohail Mehmood, Chairman BOG Ambassador Khalid Mehmood and members of CPSC represented ISSI.
Dr. Talat Shabbir, Director CPSC in his introductory remarks apprised the delegation about the mission and work of ISSI. He also highlighted Pakistan’s cultural and trade relations with Central Asian states and Azerbaijan.
Giving a warm welcome to the delegation, DG ISSI Ambassador Sohail Mehmood emphasized Pakistan’s deep historical and cultural ties with Central Asia and Azerbaijan and the ongoing efforts to strengthen these ties.
He highlighted Pakistan’s ‘Vision Central Asia’ policy and its 5-pronged focus on political and diplomatic depth. There are trade and investment, energy and communications, security and defense and cultural and people-to-people relations.
He further said that apart from history and culture, the key driver of this policy was the axis of geo-economics of Pakistan. Ambassador Sohail Mehmood emphasized the vital importance of regional connectivity and emphasized that Pakistan provided the shortest access to the sea to the Central Asian states.
He added that the two sides were working on increasing ‘hard’ and ‘soft’ communication, suggesting, among other things, that Pakistan and Central Asian states and Azerbaijan establish a network of think tanks. should, for which the Institute of Strategic Studies presented its platform. This will help reinforce and advance common goals across domains.
The Ambassadors/Heads of Mission in their respective views welcomed the initiative of holding the Round Table and agreed on the overall objective of improving bilateral relations in various fields and enhancing regional interaction.
During the detailed exchange in the interactive session, the heads of mission discussed ways to further enhance high-level exchanges, strengthen business-to-business ties, promote energy and communication projects, build academic and think tank networks, and hold cultural events. Offered valuable suggestions. Expressed interest in exchanging on a regular basis.
It was also agreed to hold events to formulate policy recommendations and suggest ways to increase mutual awareness of the vast opportunities for enhancing cooperation between the two sides at the bilateral and regional levels.