Pakistan and Uzbekistan on Tuesday signed a Protocol on the Establishment of Joint Security Commission which was followed by the inaugural session of the Commission formed under the protocol. The protocol signing ceremony was participated by Secretary of the Security Council of the Republic of Uzbekistan Lieutenant General Victor Makhmudov and Pakistan’s National Security Advisor Dr. Moeed Yusuf who led their respective delegations, said a National Security Division media release. The signed protocol covered wide-ranging security related matters of mutual interest and established coordination mechanism between Pakistan’s National Security Division and the Security Council of Uzbekistan under their respective heads. During the inaugural session, both sides discussed various aspects of the newly formed joint commission and the way forward for making the commission effective and mutually beneficial. The evolving situation in Afghanistan and the need to remain constructively engaged was also discussed. The second session of the Joint Security Commission would be held in Uzbekistan next year. Secretary of the Security Council of the Republic of Uzbekistan, Lieutenant General Victor Makhmudov, heading a five-member delegation, is on a three-day visit to Pakistan on the invitation of the Pakistan’s National Security Advisor. National Security Advisor (NSA) Dr Moeed Yusuf on Tuesday said Pakistan and Uzbekistan have signed a historic protocol to establish multifaceted Joint Security Commission (JSC) that would help in unveiling the geo-economic paradigm shift in the region. At a media briefing, after a detailed meeting with the five-member Uzbek delegation headed by Secretary of the Security Council /NSA of the Republic of Uzbekistan Lieutenant General Victor Makhmudov, the NSA elaborated the details of the JSC. The signed protocol covers wide-ranging security related matters of mutual interest and establishes coordination mechanism between Pakistan’s National Security Division and the Security Council of Uzbekistan under their respective heads. Under the JSC, he said the two countries would function in different working groups in diverse fields like security, defence, trans-crime, drug trafficking, counter terrorism and disaster management. Dr Moeed said Pakistan’s entire focus was on shifting the country’s system into a geo-economic paradigm, where setting up of a regional economic corridor through the country was the top priority. Prior to the ongoing China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) initiative, the NSA said there was no such trade route with the Central Asian states that had huge potential in enabling Pakistan to achieve its geo-economic strategic goal. “Uzbekistan due to its close proximity with Afghanistan is a very crucial element in fulfilling our geo-economic paradigm. It is an historic day as both the countries have signed the JSC Protocol and will collaborate in diverse fields like security, defence and associated issues,” he remarked. Further elaborating, Dr Moeed Yusuf mentioned that under the JSC various stakeholders including Ministry of Defence, Foreign Office, National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA), Federal Board of Revenue would participate; whereas the National Security Division would act as the central coordinating body. “There are already a number of agreements related to defence and military cooperation with Uzbekistan that will bring under the umbrella of JSC; and all previous inactive bilateral agreements will be activated and implemented efficiently,” he underlined. While sharing engagements of his Uzbek counterpart in Pakistan, the NSA told the media the delegation was on a three-day visit and would have meetings with the Prime Minister and Foreign Minister besides visiting the General Headquarters, Rawalpindi. The Uzbek NSA, accompanied by Adviser to the PM on Commerce Abdul Razak Dawood, would also visit to Torkham Border Terminal to inspect four transit trucks coming from Uzbekistan, he said, adding the dignitary was also scheduled to visit to Pakistan Military Academy Kakul. He noted that Uzbekistan wanted the enhanced connectivity and access to the Arabian Sea which was also beneficial for Pakistan to increase its economic footprint. Dr Moeed Yusuf said it was propitious that both Pakistan and Uzbekistan have similar stance on Afghanistan issue that the entire world should be in constructive engagement with Afghan government to avoid any humanitarian crisis there. He added that peace in Afghanistan was a matter of national security for Pakistan and it was the right of Afghan brethren to have peace after facing protracted violence for the past four decades. Responding to media queries, he said, “I am not going to attend the NSAs’ moot on Afghanistan issue in India. A spoiler in the region can’t be a peace maker.” He regretted that the international community’s silence over India’s massive human rights violations and state-sponsored terrorism in Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir and expansionist vision, which was leading the entire region nowhere.