TASHKENT – Pakistan is now focusing it attention on developing bilateral relations with Central Asian Republics (CARs) in an attempt to prepare itself for handling Afghanistan situation once the ISAF and NATO troops pull out of this war-torn Muslim neighbouring country.

Pakistan being a frontline state in the America-led war on terror has it genuine concerns regarding future of the region. Its concerns are shared by all those neighboring states in Central Asia. Islamabad wishes to take these states on board for formulating future strategy to ensure peace and tranquility in the region.

Being Muslim states a closer cooperation is the need of the hour. It was against this backdrop that Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani undertook a two-day official visit to Kyrgyzstan on March 15 and held detailed discussion with counterpart Almazbek Atambaev for further deepening bilateral relations and exchanging views on regional and international issues.

The two countries signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on establishing Joint Business Council and an agreement on cooperation in military training. Only 9 days after his Kyrgyz visit, Premier Gilani is now arriving in Uzbekistan’s capital Tashkent Thursday (today) on a two-day official visit to hold bilateral talks with a focus on Afghanistan. Both Pakistan and Uzbekistan are cognizant of the multiple challenges being faced by the region. Islamabad and Tashkent are determined to work together for stability, peace and development to the mutual benefit as well as the region as a whole.