Recently, there has been an increase in the exports of Pakistan to Afghanistan. In times to come, Afghanistan will be acting as a bridge to connect Pakistan with the Central Asian States. Likewise, an initiative has already begun. Pakistan-Uzbekistan will soon sign a formal trade agreement.The Adviser for Commerce and Investment to Prime Minister of Pakistan, Abdul Razzak Dawood said last month; “trade ties with partnering countries are critical to sustainable business relationships.” He further added; “The present state of its relations with Uzbekistan and Afghanistan is an important development in this regard”.
According to reports, Pakistan recently sent medicine and medical supplies to Tashkent. The truck departed from the Karachi port and through the Torkham border. It truck arrived at Tashkent within 48 hours. Moreover, It came back with leather products after two days.
The two countries tend to further promote trade. Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan met Uzbek Foreign Minister in Islamabad and pledged to provide Uzbekistan access to Gwadar port. However, the two countries have not signed a formal agreement. Reportedly, the delay is due to the uncertainty of the security situation in Afghanistan.
Pakistan’s Efforts in Afghan Peace Process to Promote Regional Cooperation
Since the Doha Agreement, Pakistan is actively trying to facilitate the Afghan Peace Process. However, prior to the Doha Agreement, Pakistan had more of an indirect approach towards the Peace Process. This is due to some political issues that emerged between the Governments of the two countries.
Addressing the Pakistan-Hungary Dialogue, held in March, Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi said, ”Pakistan’s Government, under the leadership of Prime Minister Imran Khan, attaches great importance to enhancing Pakistan’s trade and economic relations with our partners. Pakistan’s focus is shifting from geopolitics to geoeconomics.” He further added,” Our new economic security paradigm has three essential pillars: peace, developing partnerships and connectivity.”
This simply indicates that the Afghan Peace Process is a priority for Pakistan, as peace in Afghanistan will ensure regional cooperation and integration among Afghanistan’s neighbouring countries and further facilitate economic and trade development.