Full membership of SCO to boost Pakistan’s image, economy

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ISLAMABAD, Jun 11 (APP): Efforts of the Prime Minister Nawaz
Sharif must be lauded which has resulted in full membership of
Pakistan in the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO).
The SCO will not only give Pakistan a powerful platform to
promote its economy, but it will also help our voice to be heard
more clearly on regional and international matters, said former
President of FPCCI Shahid Rasheed Butt.
Now Pakistan will be better equipped to ensure peace, build
trust, spur economic development, combat terrorism, reduce arms
race, eliminate poverty, deal with natural disasters, tackle climate
change and assure water security, he added.
He said that expansion of the SCO has taken place at a time
when China’s ‘One Belt, One Road’ (OBOR) initiative has transformed
the global economic landscape.
He also lauded the move of the PM Nawaz to use the opportunity
to meet Afghan President Ashraf Ghani on the side-lines of the SCO
moot in Astana. Both the leaders have agreed to combat terrorism
which is a positive development, he added.
Tensions between Pakistan and Afghanistan frequently hit
bilateral relations trade which is damaging both countries, he said.
Shahid Rasheed Butt said that both the brotherly Islamic
countries should resolve this issue amicably as Pakistan plans to
import 1300 megawatt electricity from central Asia through
Afghanistan which will cost it 5 cents per KWH while Afghan
government will get 1.25 cents per KWH as transit fee.
Similarly, Pakistan plans to import gas from Turkmenistan
which will be added to the national gas grid in Quetta for which
friendly relations with Kabul are imperative.
Afghanistan is full of mineral, iron ore and coal which can be
transported to Fata or Khyber Pakhtunkhwa for value addition. A big
steel mill can be established in northern Pakistan for the purpose
which can provide jobs and earn foreign exchange.
The ongoing projects will bring Pakistan, Afghanistan,
Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan and Turkmenistan closer and make them
interdependent with every country wanting stability in the partner
nation.