Islamabad to sign extradition treaty with Tashkent

With hundreds of Uzbek militants in its tribal regions, Pakistan will sign extradition treaty with Uzbekistan soon.

Maha Mussadaq/qaiser Butt March 25, 2011
Islamabad to sign extradition treaty with Tashkent


With hundreds of al Qaeda-linked Uzbek militants in its tribal regions, Pakistan plans to sign an extradition treaty with Uzbekistan soon, The Express Tribune has learnt.

The accord was to be signed this week during Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani’s two-day trip to the Central Asian country, the sources said, but differences between the experts of the two countries on the draft of the agreement caused a slight delay.

The draft will be discussed by the experts again and the differences addressed, the source said. “In principle Pakistan and Uzbekistan have already agreed to sign the extradition treaty,” he said.

The governments of Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan say they face threats to their security from the al Qaeda-linked Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan, whose militants are most  active in Pakistan’s tribal areas and in Afghanistan.

Uzbekistan talks

Meanwhile in Tashkent on Thursday, Prime Minister Gilani said that Pakistan and the Central Asian states needed to work together to combat extremism in the region so they could get on with the process of development. He said that Pakistan was keen on improving security and defence cooperation with Uzbekistan.

He said that as Afghanistan’s northern neighbour, Uzbekistan was an important part of the Pakistan government’s vision for peace. “Both Pakistan and Uzbekistan face common threats and challenges from extremism and have a stake in Afghanistan, where the deteriorating security situation for the past three decades has destabilised the entire region,” he said.

Gilani said that Pakistan supports Afghan President Hamid Karzai’s efforts to bring about stability and peace in his country. “Pakistan is working with the international community to achieve that objective. We are also actively pursuing the establishment of rail and road links with Afghanistan,” he said.

He said that Pakistan and Uzbekistan could increase bilateral trade by five times, suggesting the two countries set up joint working groups and added that Pakistan was willing to host a meeting.

The prime minister is accompanied on the trip by State Minister for Foreign Affairs Hina Rabbani Khar, Minister for Water and Power Naveed Qamar and Minister for Agriculture Israrullah Zehri.

Khar and her Uzbek counterpart Rausham Gulomov inked a number of agreements and memorandums of understanding. Uzbekistan also offered to supply buses, trucks, machinery and chemicals.

Image in Afghanistan

A foreign ministry official said that the engagement with Uzbekistan was part of a Pakistani effort to improve ties with the Central Asian states so the country had a less negative view among the inhabitants of northern Afghanistan, who are mainly ethnic Uzbeks and Tajiks.

“The idea is to win the heart and minds of the non-Pukhtun Afghans who have been hostile to Pakistan since the establishment of the Mujahideen government in Kabul after the departure of Soviet troops,” he said. These hostilities increased manifold when the Taliban took over in Kabul and mistreated Uzbeks, Tajiks and Hazaras.

Prime Minister Gilani led a business delegation to Kyrgyzstan for talks on March 15 where the two sides signed an agreement to enable Kyrgyz military officers to study in Pakistan’s military academies.

Cooperation against militancy was also discussed when Tajikistan’s President Emomali Rahmanov visited Islamabad earlier this month. Apart from meeting President Asif Ali Zardari and Prime Minister Gilani, Rahmanov also held meetings with Chief of Army Staff General Ashfaq Kiyani, ISI chief General Shuja Pasha and Interior Minister Rehman Malik.

Published in The Express Tribune, March 25th, 2011.


aman | 13 years ago | Reply @ursanov You can come and study from india!! Pakistan is part of india!!
Usanov Sherzod | 13 years ago | Reply if i study and work in Pakistan or India what should i do? can i work in tourism?
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