Pakistan assures support to SCO to curb terrorism, stresses need to counter militant ideologies

ZHENGZHOU – Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Tuesday assured Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) Pakistan full supports to curb extremism and terrorism to ensure regional peace and security.In his address at the 14th SCO Heads of Government meeting, he underlined the need of collective move to confront such challenges of terrorism and extremism. “The security situation around us remains precarious. We are seeing the threat to state sovereignty and territorial integrity. Armed conflicts continue to rage in several parts of the world unleashing forces, which are beyond the control of anyone, he said.He said that the militant ideologies needed to be countered, adding that terrorism remained a serious threat and in fact become even more insidious. He said that the SCO had a special role to play in promoting peace and regional stability.

“As a member of the SCO family and in accordance with the Shanghai spirit, we had to identify common values and build on them. Our diversity can serve as a positive force, to promote harmony and advance avenues of cooperation and shared prosperity,” he said.The prime minister said that the SCO partnership could extend to infrastructure and energy cooperation, development of natural resources and working together for a more democratic, accountable, transparent and just international order, adding that the SCO Development Strategy 2025 envision these goals.

He said that Pakistan shared the perspective that connectivity and development were critical to progress, prosperity and security in the region. Pakistan supported the one belt and one road initiative of President XI Jinping and remained committed to making China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CEPEC) Project a resounding success, he said.With its unique geo-strategic location and at the confluence of South, West and Central Asia and excellent relations with all member states, as a full member Pakistan was ready to play its role in developing these linkages and looks forward to join the efforts of all member states of the organization, he said.

He said that Pakistan shared deep rooted historical and cultural links and strong economic and strategic complementarities with the SCO and its members, adding that our interests and objectives intersect across a wide range of areas and issues.Nawaz said that fifteen years ago in Shanghai, the leaders of SCO members decided to lay the foundation of a new model of regional cooperation that stood for a new security concept anchored on mutual trust, disarmament and cooperative security. He said that it was envisioned as a platform for mutual cooperation and equal standing among its members on the basis of the principles of non-interference and non-alignment.Over the last 15 years, he said that the SCO had promoted mutual trust and cooperation in countering terrorism, drug trafficking and organised crime. It strengthened mutually beneficial partnership in the fields of trade, finance, energy, infrastructure, tourism and environmental protection.He said that the organisation expanded its geographical reach by adding six observers and six dialogue partners. He said that earlier this year the SCO took another landmark decision in Ufa, to enlarge its membership and accept in principle the membership requests of two new members, Pakistan and India.

Prime Minister Nawaz said that Pakistan had made considerable progress by completing its internal processes to fulfill its legal obligations and to accede to relevant SCO treaties and protocols. He said that Pakistan was now waiting the memorandum of obligation from the SCO Secretariat so that its membership could be finalised at the next summit in Tashkent in June 2016.Earlier, the Chinese premier Li Keqinag in his opening remarks said that expansion of the SCO had been started while efforts were being made to make the organisation a strong platform for addressing the challenges confronting the region. He said that the organisation focus was on security, economic cooperation and people-to-people contacts.He said that extremism and terrorism was posing unprecedented challenges to the community and called for collective efforts for peace, stability and prosperity of the region. He called upon the SCO members to support the reconciliation process of Afghanistan.


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