Mr. Andrew Bridgen MP, Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Uzbekistan hosted an event that was jointly chaired by Mr. Rehman Chishti MP, Chairman of Conservative Foreign and Commonwealth Council (CFCC) and Bota Hopkinson, Chair of Conservative Friends of Eurasia titled “The Seven Stans” on Global Britain and multilateral relations with the Stans i.e. Pakistan, Afghanistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan. Heads of Missions of respective countries and Parliamentarians linked to countries’ APPGs attended the event.
The High Commissioner Mohammad Nafees Zakaria and Ambassadors were the panellists at the seminar. The High Commissioner shed light on the importance of connectivity in regional context and economic diplomacy as a foreign policy tool for promoting peace and stability in the region and beyond. By virtue of its geostrategic and geographic location, the High Commissioner highlighted that Pakistan being at the confluence of South Asia, Central Asia, West Asia and Northwest China, was ideally situated to serve as a natural economic hub and energy corridor. In this regard, he mentioned CPEC and Pakistan’s active participation, as a member at the ECO and CERAC as a manifestation. He stressed on the importance of investment to develop trade routes that facilitated transcontinental commercial activity.
In this context, he remarked that Pakistan could serve as a bridge between the Commonwealth and the Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO) being a common member of both organizations.
In order to attain the goal of economic prosperity for the people of the region, the High Commissioner emphasized that the conflicts such as Kashmir Dispute need to be resolved.