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Pakistan becomes full member of Shanghai Cooperation Organization

Pakistan becomes full member of Shanghai Cooperation Organization

Pakistan signed the Memorandum of Obligations to become the full member of Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) – a key security, economy and energy cooperation group

TASHKET – (Uzbekistan) Pakistan has become full member of Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) after signing Memorandum of Obligations (MoOs). The memorandum was signed by Adviser on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz at SCO’s Heads of State Summit at Tashkent, Uzbekistan on Friday.

The membership allows Pakistan to play a key role t in regional peace, stability and development and support regional cooperation against terrorism and extremism. It provides the country with a platform for forging closer ties with China, Russia and other members of SCO.

President Mamnoon Hussain represented Pakistan at the signing ceremony at the 16th Heads of the State Council of the SCO held in the Uzbek capital.

President Mamnoon Hussain, who addressed the SCO forum said Pakistan’s aim of curbing extremism and enhancing border security were in line with the objectives of SCO. Pakistan understands better than any other country that terrorism poses the greatest challenge to our vision of common prosperity. No other country has made greater sacrifices in fighting the forces of terrorism, separatism and extremism. Pakistan remains committed to fighting terrorism in all its forms and manifestations.

President said China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) serves as the natural link between the SCO states and the Arabian Sea and South Asia.

Sartaj Aziz expressed confidence that Pakistan would play an important role in the SCO due to its experience in dealing with the challenges of counter-terrorism, security issues and drug trafficking.

Aziz said in accordance with the `Shanghai Spirit’, every country had moral obligation on it to maintain good relations with other member states.  Pakistan would be in a better position to maintain close relations with Russia and China, being the key powers of the region, he added.

Uzbekistan’s President Islam Karimov said taking into account the `peace’ as the main objective of SCO, the Organization has expanded its grouping with inclusion of Pakistan and India, terming the signing by the two countries as “historic”.

Analyst Baleegh ur Rehman state minister PML-N said, ‘Pakistan formally applied for SCO membership in 2010. Earlier, it used to participate as an observer in SCO summits. Pakistan and Afghanistan are gateways for resource rich Central Asian countries, and Pakistan can utilize this opportunity. CPEC will further help connecting regional and extra-regional countries. Since Pakistan has been fighting a tough war against terrorism, it can utilize this forum to generate support for its cause.

Pakistan’s membership will have a positive impact on several major issues pertaining to military and technical cooperation with Russia and on huge communication projects with China.

The next summit of the heads of SCO member states will be held June 8-9, 2017, in Astana.

Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) is a Eurasian political, economic, and military organisation founded in 2001.

China, Russia and Central Asian countries Kazakhstan, Kyrgyz Republic, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan are founding members of SCO. Afghanistan, Iran, Mongolia and Belarus are the SCO observer-countries, while Turkey, Azerbaijan, Sri Lanka, Armenia, Cambodia and Nepal are dialogue partners.

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