Distinguished Lectures Distinguished Lectures

Tashkent (Uzbekistan)

  • Distinguished Lectures Detail

    By: Amb. Pinak R. Chakravarty, Special Secretary (PD)
    Venue: Tashkent (Uzbekistan)
    Date: September 20, 2012

By Amb. Pinak R. Chakravarty, Special Secretary (PD),
At a Conference
‘Contemporary Process of Inter Regional Cooperation in Central and South Asia’
At Tashkent (Uzbekistan)
20th to 23rd September, 2012

Excellency, Prof. Nodir Zhumaev, Rector, University of World Economy & Diplomacy, Ambassador Sarma,
Dr. Rashpal Malhotra, Executive Vice Chairman, CRRID, Chandigarh, India,
Distinguished participants of the Conference from India and Uzbekistan,
I am delighted to be in Tashkent, a beautiful city that I am visiting for the first time.

Since its independence in 1991 Uzbekistan has made tremendous strides with regard to economic development and is one of the fastest growing economies of the world at a time when there is a global slowdown. I take this opportunity to congratulate Uzbekistan on its achievements and successes during the 20 years of its independence.

Our historical bonds with Central Asia and Uzbekistan in particular are too well known and do not bear repetition. India and Uzbekistan are near neighbours and our cilvilizational ties go back 2 millennia and more. The famous Silk Route is part of popular history and to us diplomats and strategic thinkers a significant marker of the geo-strategic importance of our relations with Uzbekistan.

India and Uzbekistan share a unique relationship built on the strong foundations of historical and cultural ties. There is amazing goodwill at the people to people level and there is close understanding between the leaders of our two countries. Even during Soviet times leaders like Jawaharlal Nehru, Indira Gandhi and Lal Bahadur Shastri visited Uzbekistan. Today I had the opportunity to see the statue of Lal Bahadur Shastri who in his untimely death in Tashkent became a symbol of India-Uzbek friendship. We recall that H.E. Mr. Islam Karimov was visiting India when the historical events of 1991 leading up to Uzbekistan’s independence began unfolding.

We cannot remain rooted in history. We have to seek inspiration from what was achieved by our ancestors and rebuild our ties in the modern era. India has, therefore, embarked on the "Connect Central Asia” policy based on an active interface with the widest spectrum of engagement and Uzbekistan is central to our relations with the region.

India and Uzbekistan share similar concerns and approaches with regard to important regional and international relations. In May 2011, during H.E. President Islam Karimov’s visit to India, we became strategic partners, which means that there are virtually no limits to the areas in which we can cooperate and work together.

My journey from Delhi to Tashkent by air was under three hours and we are therefore close to each other in terms of geography. And yet we lack efficient and convenient trade and transit corridors. There is a need

for innovative solutions in this regard. A difficult and unstable region separates us. And, therefore, we have a stake in peace.

With the broader region, the sectors that will drive our relations are trade, investments, IT, education, medical cooperation, agriculture, mineral, energy, security, defence, cooperation in multilateral for a, digital connectivity, academic exchanges and more contacts between the younger generation of our peoples. This will require favourable visa regimes.

CRRID has embarked on a 5 year programme of review, research and building bridges. With geo-political barriers to greater physical connectivity, we need to think innovatively and use IT, digital tools and other non-physical connectivities.

The organization of this Conference in Tashkent is timely and gives an opportunity to discuss important issues in a spirit of frankness that is characteristic of two friends.

A seminar such as this can throw up ideas for policy makers on both sides.

I wish you success in your deliberations.

Thank you.