TASHKENT - Pakistan is now focusing it attention on developing bilateral relations with Central Asian Republics (CARs) in an attempt to prepare itself for handling Afghanistan situation once the ISAF and NATO troops pull out of this war-torn Muslim neighbouring country. Pakistan being a frontline state in the America-led war on terror has it genuine concerns regarding future of the region. Its concerns are shared by all those neighboring states in Central Asia. Islamabad wishes to take these states on board for formulating future strategy to ensure peace and tranquility in the region. Being Muslim states a closer cooperation is the need of the hour. It was against this backdrop that Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani undertook a two-day official visit to Kyrgyzstan on March 15 and held detailed discussion with counterpart Almazbek Atambaev for further deepening bilateral relations and exchanging views on regional and international issues. The two countries signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on establishing Joint Business Council and an agreement on cooperation in military training. Only 9 days after his Kyrgyz visit, Premier Gilani is now arriving in Uzbekistans capital Tashkent Thursday (today) on a two-day official visit to hold bilateral talks with a focus on Afghanistan. Both Pakistan and Uzbekistan are cognizant of the multiple challenges being faced by the region. Islamabad and Tashkent are determined to work together for stability, peace and development to the mutual benefit as well as the region as a whole. Pakistan and Uzbekistan have been closely cooperating at various regional and international forums including Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO), Economic Cooperation Organisation (ECO), Organisation of Islamic Conference (OIC) and the United Nations. In fact, it was Uzbekistan which helped Pakistan secure the Observer status at the SCO. Pakistan would seek Uzbek support for attaining full membership of SCO. Another item on the agenda for official talks is to offer Uzbekistan Gwadar seaport facilities it being the shortest route to trade with the rest of the world, including Pakistan. During Prime Ministers visit, taking place on the invitation of Uzbek President Islam Karimov, Pakistan and Uzbekistan will sign four agreements and MOUs including Protocol on Exchanges of Instrument of Ratification of Agreement on Transport and Transit of Goods. The MoUs to be signed include Cooperation in the field of Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Sciences as well as for Renewal of Cultural Programme. Soon after his arrival, Premier Gilani will hold a tete-a-tete with his counterpart, the venue of which is Noval Hall International Business Centre followed by signing of MoUs and agreements and formal talks. The Premier will then leave for Oqsoray Palace, official residence of the President. Later in the evening, Gilani will attend a state banquet at Air Timur Hall.