By Irfan Khan
ASTANA, (Kazakhstan) June 9 (APP): Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz
Sharif Friday said Pakistan, as full member of the Shanghai
Cooperation Organization (SCO), would strive further to achieve the
collective objectives of the organization for regional cooperation,
connectivity and economic prosperity.
In his address at the summit of Heads of State Council of the
SCO, the prime minister said Pakistan pursued a policy of peaceful
neighbourhood and stressed upon promotion of peace and harmony for
the future generations.
“As leaders, we should leave a legacy of peace and amity for
our future generations; not a toxic harvest of conflict and
animosity. Instead of talking about counterweights and containment,
let us create shared spaces for all,” he added.
The prime minister said SCO’s goals resonated with Pakistan’s
national ethos; and so do the core values of the Shanghai Spirit and
the SCO Charter with their own quest for a peaceful neighborhood.
He said with its expansion, the SCO has been transformed into
true transcontinental organization. The SCO provided sheet anchor
role for regional progress and prosperity in view of the global
changes. “In coming decades, it would serve as a strong link between
the Asia-Pacific, East Asia, West Asia and the Atlantic region,” he
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said the SCO gave them a powerful
platform for partnerships to promote peace, build trust, and spur
economic development for shared prosperity.
“Moreover, it helps us all combat terrorism, reduce arms race,
eliminate poverty, fight epidemics, deal with natural disasters,
tackle climate change, and ensure water security,” he noted.
He said Pakistan successfully fought the twin evils of
terrorism and extremism, and his government brought about a complete
turnaround in the economic situation of the country.
Pakistan fully endorsed the SCO’s resolve to fight the twin
evils of terrorism and extremism, he said.
“Pakistan has fought its own fierce war against international
terrorism and violent extremism; and with the grace of God, we have
been able to turn around the security and economic situation in our
country,” he added.
Pakistan was diligently implementing China Pakistan Economic
Corridor (CPEC ), a flagship of One Belt One Road initiative, he
said, adding it would be beneficial for the entire SCO members.
Congratulating India on the full member status of SCO along
with Pakistan, the prime minister said that it was a historic day
for Pakistan and the SCO members as well and thanked the founding
members including China, Russia and others for their staunch support
to Pakistan to become its full-fledged member.
He said Pakistan was not unfamiliar with the SCO mechanism but
had developed deep relations by attending its summits and worked
closely at its different forums.
He said Pakistan came prepared and eager to learn from the
founding members in the changing international environment.
The summit was attended by heads of member states including
President of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev, President of China Xi
Jinping, President Kyrgyzstan Almazbek Atambayev, President of
Russia Vladimir Putin, President of Tajikistan Emomali Rahmon and
President of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev.
President of Afghanistan Muhammad Ashraf Ghani, President of
Belarus Alexandar Lukashenko, President of Mangolia Tsakhiagiin
Elbegdorj and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi were also present
during the summit.
Speaking on the occasion, Kazakh President Nursultan
Nazarbayev stressed upon prospects of cooperation and prosperity
offered by the Shanghai Cooperation and expressed his pleasure at
the admission of Pakistan as its new member.
Chinese President Xi Jinping highlighted the significance of
`One Belt and One Road’ initiative and welcomed expansion of SCO
membership with admission of Pakistan and India.
He said the member states should gear up efforts for becoming
part of infrastructure and connectivity initiatives. China supports
the role of SCO and stands for more exchanges among UN and other
regional organizations. He said Beijing was looking eagerly to host
next SCO in 2018.
Russian President Vladmir Putin also congratulated Pakistan
for becoming a full-fledged member of the SCO and expressed the
confidence that the expansion would definitely make it a powerful
economic and political forum. The SCO’s priorities should be
maintaining stability in the member states whereas scourge of
terrorism could be countered by strong bonds of cooperation by
targeting the mindset propagating extremism.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi said after its expansion,
the SCO would represent about 42 per cent of the world’s population.
President of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev said the SCO would
open new opportunities for cooperation among the member states after
admission of Pakistan and others. He urged the world and regional
countries to tackle the issue of terrorism and extremism which was
posing threats to the world peace.
Tajik President Emomali Rahmon congratulated prime minister
Nawaz Sharif over getting full membership of the SCO and expressed the
hope that admission of new members would help strengthen the role of
The SCO was a good platform for regional cooperation regarding
transport linkages and energy sector in the landlocked Central Asian
countries, he said and highlighted the issues of terrorism and drug