SAMARKAND, March 15 (APP):? Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz Thursday said there was a great potential of boosting tourism between Pakistan and Uzbekistan and both the countries were working on it to achieve this objective. Talking to newsmen here after visiting ?Rajestan? – a group of ancient ?madrassas? dating back to 15th and 17th century, the Prime Minister said a number of flights have started between the two countries and said with more flights trade and tourism between the two countries will further intensify.
The Prime Minister said both the countries have so much in common including their heritage, ancient links and a history that they share.
?It all is well worth the visit to each others? country and shows the bonds and ties which existed centuries ago.
He recalled visits of President Pervez Musharraf and that of Islam Karimov preceding his that will bring the two countries further closer.
?Visit to Uzbekistan would not be complete without visiting Samarkand – an ancient capital and on silk route and manifestation of Islamic teachings, thought, philosophy. Contributions made by scientists, scholars and thinkers from this part of the world to the entire world is very significant,? he said.
The Prime Minister commended the government of Uzbekistan for maintaing the sites in an excellent manner and promoting the heritage and history for the entire Muslim world.
The Prime Minister said the people of Uzbekistan are warm and friendly and tourists from each country should visit the other.
He pointed that Pakistan?s history stretching back to the Harrapa and Gandhara civilisations was a favourite for tourists interested in world history.
He said Pakistan offers a rich mosaic of natural beauty, history and culture that needs to be seen and invited tourists from Uzbekistan to visit. He also said Pakistani tourists can visit the historic places in Samarkand and Bukhara only a few hours away from their homes.
The Prime Minister soon after his arrival in Samarkand visited the Musoleum of Hazrat Imam Bokhari the renowned writer of Hadith. Penning down his impressions on the visitors book, the Prime Minister described it as a ?real privilge?.
?He was a scholar, researcher and religious leader who spent forty years collecting and? authenticating the Hadith, covering the life and sayings of Holy Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him).?
Aziz lauded the Uzbek government for mainting this ?precious site of our history?. ?We all need to follow Islamic teachings of brotherhood, peace, harmony an tolerance,? he stated.
The Prime Minister, accompanied by the Governor of Samarkand also visited the Quran Museum and saw the artifacts and copies of Holy Quran from all over the world.
Uzbekistan was overrun by Genghis Khan in 1220. In the 1300s Amir Timur or Tamerlane the Great? (1337-1405) built an empire with its capital at Samarkand, founded after conquering what is today known as Iran, Iraq, Syria, Turkey, the Caucasus, Northern India and the Golden Horde of Mongols.
His capital was a welcome abode for for scholars and artists.
Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz and members of his delegation later visited the famous observatory made by Timur?s grandson Mirzo Ulugbek, who also was the first to design a sextant. He was briefed about the working of the observatory, termed by some as one of the world?s wonders, and was used to precisely measure the movement of stars and planets.
Ulugbek is known in the world of science as one of the greatest in Middle Ages, astronomer and sponsor of art and knowledge.
Uzbekistan was one of the 15 member Republics of the Soviet Union between 1922 and 1991. In September, 1991 following the collapse of the Soviet Union, Uzbekistan became one of Central Asian Republics to proclaim independence. Uzbekistan?s heritage goes back about 2,500 years. Besides its economic importance, it flourished as the medieval intellectual center of the Muslim world.