Uzbekistan A Key Regional Country

Written by: Ahmad Al-Qadri (Research Associate at MUSLIM Institute)

Central Asian Republics are rich in natural resources but this area is landlocked. In neighborhood it has countries having access to warm waters. The relation among these countries can enhance the trade of this area to the world and can start new era of progress for the whole region. These landlocked states also include state of Uzbekistan which is situated in middle of central Asia. It is the only state which has borders with all other Central Asian republics. It has an area of 447,400 sq km. According to 2014 census, its population is more than thirty million and in it almost ninety percent are Muslims. With regard to population and army it is the leading country of Central Asia.

Historically in this area Islam came during the caliphate of governor, Qutaibah bin Muslim. Abu Mansur Sabuktigin laid the foundations of Ghaznavid dynasty on the end of tenth century which was consisting of the areas from Middle East to Sub-Continent. Sabuktigin was famous in public due to his kind nature and for maintaining justice in the society. Afterwards in eleventh century Samani family ruled the area whereas Seljukfamily ruled the area from end of eleventh century to thirteenth century which was removed by Changez Khan, a cruel Mangol. In the thirteenth century Mangols did large destruction in the area. On the end of Magolera, Amir Temur ruled the area and focused on rebuilding and progress of the region. Allama Iqbal presented tribute to Amir Temur in the following words in his book Bal-e-Jibril

Suddenly quivered the dust of Samarkand, And from an ancient tomb a light shone, pure. As the first gleam of daybreak, and a voice was heard:—“I am the spirit of Timur! Amir Temur’s memorial portrait is present in Samarqand today. In the start of fifteenth century this state got weakened and at last Uzbek clans conquered the area under the leadership of M Sheibani-Khan which lasted in the nineteenth century with the Russian occupation of this land. In 1954 Uzbekistan became the Uzbek Soviet Socialist Republic. During the WW2, more than hundred thousand Uzbeks died as a result of conflict between USSR and Germany. After the WW2 the independence movement began. The supreme council of Uzbek Soviet Socialist Republic announced independence of Uzbekistan on 31st August 1990. Islam Karimov became the first president of Uzbekistan. Official day of independence of Uzbekistan is celebrated on 1st September each year.

After getting independence, Uzbekistan is progressing rapidly which is evident by the fact that in 2013, its imports were more than twelve billion dollars and exports were about fifteen billion dollars. In 2013, its GDP rate was 7 and by this factor, it is on twenty-third number in the world. It is 6th largest producer of cotton and fifth biggest exporter of cotton in the world. It has fourth largest gold reserves in the world. It has vast resources of oil and gas as well. It has two trillion cubic meters of proven resources of natural gas and stands at nineteenth number in the world. With six hundred million barrels of oil

resources, it is on 48th number in the world. Uranium, copper, lead, silver etc are also found here. Uzbekistan soum is the official currency and official language is Uzbek.

The land of Uzbekistan is rememberedin golden words in Islamic history because it gave birth to many intellectuals and researchers.Abu Ali Ibn e Sina was born in Bukhara (Uzbekistan) who wrote different books. Among the most important of his works are “The Book of Knowledge,” “Book of Healing”, “Drugs”, “Canon of Medicine” (5 books), the latter is considered to be one of the most famous books in the history of medicine. Abu al Rehan Al-Beruni was born in 973 in Uzbekistan whose tomb is in Afghanistan. He was a great Muslim scientist, thinker and historian. He wrote a book on the history of Hindustan “Kitab-ul-hind”. According to some historians, the founder of classical algebra, Abu Abdullah M Bin Al also belonged to Uzbekistan. The founder of Mughal era in sub-continent, Zakhiriddin Muhammad Bobur was born in 1483 in Uzbekistan and became the leader of Fergana at the age of eleven. Writer of Sahih Al-Bukhari, Imam Al-Bukhari was also born in Uzbekistan who collected around six hundred thousand Hadith which is his great contribution in promoting Islamic teachings. His tomb is also in Uzbekistan.

Uzbekistan is enriched with natural beauty, heritage and Sufi traditions. The public of Uzbekistan has great affiliation to Sufism even today. Geographically Uzbekistan is very important location for trade among Central Asia, South Asia, China, Russia, Middle East, and Europe. Its cities and natural resources situated on Silk Route give it a special importance in trade. Uzbekistan has good diplomatic relations with regional countries.Turkey and Uzbekistan signed about ninety treaties and they had trade of about two billion dollars from1990 to 2012. China is having trade with resources rich Central Asia and had trade of 2.5 billion dollar with Uzbekistan in 2012.Uzbekistan is also member of Economic Cooperation Organization, OIC, UNO, SCO, World Bank, ADB, ECO and OSS.

Relations between Pakistan are based on geographical and historical links, religious and cultural harmony. Both have mutual trade of about four million dollars which is expected to be doubled in coming few years. Both countries have capacity to enhance relations in the fields of education, defense, tourism, banking, trade and industrial cooperation. Pakistan can meet its energy needs by importing energy from this region whereas Uzbekistan by having access to Pakistani sea ports can enhance its trade with the world and can have easy access to international markets. Pakistan should enhance projects of providing trade route to China and Central Asian states by which a new era of progress can start in the whole region. After US withdrawal from Afghanistan when there is internal stability in Afghanistan, a rail track can be laid between Pakistan and Central Asia. Along with Afghanistan, Pakistan should start projects of different trade routes with other countries which can include extension of ancient Silk Route from Kashgar to Samarkand and Tashkent which can provide access to Central Asia and China to Gawadar port and hence providing opportunities of trade and progress in the region. Pakistan should make a unified policy with other countries of region to enhance security and for peace and prosperity in the region. It will help in dealing with challenges faced by Muslim world and pave the way towards unity.

 

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