Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting Chaudhry Fawad Hussain said on Friday that regional connectivity depended on the durable peace in Afghanistan. Talking to media in Tashkent he said if peace was restored in restive Afghanistan, Pakistan would be connected with Central Asia. Prime Minister Imran Khan’s meeting today with the Afghan President Ashraf Ghani was vital in which important issues would be discussed, he added. The minister said that Pakistan was desirous of durable peace in Afghanistan and it was making all possible efforts in this regard. He expressed the hope that these efforts would bear fruit soon and regional connectivity would improve, proving a harbinger of progress for the whole region. Fawad said that in the regional connectivity conference, in which over 60 countries’ dignitaries were participating, trade, economy and easing of visa regimes would be discussed. In yesterday’s meeting, he said, between Prime Minister Imran Khan and the Uzbekistan’s President they expressed the desire of running a train service from Gawadar to Tashkent and a truck service from Karachi to Tashkent to enhance regional connectivity. Minister for Information and Broadcasting Chaudhry Fawad Hussain said that strengthening of regional connectivity and revival of the historic Silk Road were the main themes of two-day conference on regional connectivity held at Uzbekistan capital Tashkent. Talking to the media persons here,he said that in the past the Silk Road was major artery of trade and this road linked South Asia with Tashkent via Kabul. With the restoration of Silk Road, South Asia,Central Asia and Europe would be linked and a big network of international trade would be established, he added. The minister said it was the vision of Prime Minister Imran Khan and Uzbekistan President that besides the road network, a rail link should also be established for furthering regional connectivity and people to people contacts. He said that representatives of over 60 countries participated in the conference.Besides Prime Minister Imran Khan, President of Uzbekistan and Afghanistan, foreign ministers of 20 countries attended the conference. The International Conference “Central and South Asia: Regional Connectivity. Challenges and Opportunities ” was organised at the initiative of the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev. The forum was aimed at strengthening historically close and friendly ties, trust and good-neighborliness between Central and South Asia in the interests of all peoples and countries of the both regions. Fawad said Prime Minister Imran Khan’s visit to Uzbekistan had laid the foundation of a new era of strong Pak-Uzbek ties besides opening new vistas of trade between the two countries. Talking to PTV, he said the prime minister’s visit to Uzbekistan had objectives -strategic and economic. Advisor to the Prime Minister on Commerce Abdul Razak Dawood had inked agreements of Rs 2 billion for different projects, including train service from Mazar Sharif to Peshawar, and Islamabad to Gwadar and Tashkent. The shipment good from Karachi to Tashkent via trucks had also been included in the projects as it could save the cost, he added. Uzbek President Shavkat Mirziyoyev, he said, gave a warm welcome to the prime minister. Their meeting continued for two and a half hours, in which both the leaders discussed important issues. Both the sides signed various agreements for enhancing bilateral cooperation, he added. Fawad said a delegation of representatives from some 130 business houses also accompanied the prime minister, which would explore new vistas of trade between the two countries. Over 130 Uzbek businessmen were also scheduled to have a meeting with Imran Khan. He said Tashkent city was beautifully decorated during the prime minister’s visit, reflecting an expression of love from the leadership and the people of Uzbekistan for Pakistan.