The Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) is an important regional organisation, and Pakistan can play a more active and constructive role as a full member to achieve goals like fighting extremism and terrorism.
This was stated by Envoys from the SCO member states while addressing the launching Ceremony of Pakistan Shanghai Cooperation Organisation Friendship Forum – an initiative of Institute of Peace and Diplomatic Studies. While speaking on the occasion, Principal Secretary to the President of Pakistan Ahmad Farooq said, “It is the need of the hour that we should work to enhance partnerships while respecting and endorsing diversity.”
He said that as this is going to be an Asian Century, the regional and world powers couldn’t ignore Pakistan in any kind of framework that places a focus on peace and development within the geographical arena of SCO.
Ambassador of Tajikistan Sherali Jononov said that members of the SCO were cooperating with each other to fight extremism and terrorism in the region to ensure stability and security where Pakistan’s role is significant. Pakistan has been playing a very important role in the SCO he observed, and expressed hope that as full member of the SCO Pakistan would be able to play a proactive role in the organisation.
Russian Federation Envoy to Pakistan H.E Alexey Dedov said Russia always supported Pakistan for permanent membership status at the SCO so that it could play a more active role in this organisation. He said that Russia, as president of the SCO for the current year, had prepared a comprehensive agenda that included enhancing connectivity to fighting terrorism and extremism through further cooperation to ensure security. He expressed the hope that Pakistan would get full membership of the SCO in its next meeting for the head of states, which is being held in Russia in July this year.
Chinese Ambassador Sun Weidong in his remarks was of the view that China has always supported Pakistan for full membership to SCO and is working on to develop a Pakistan-China Economic Corridor –a mega project that would not only support Pakistan but also strengthen regional connectivity. China and Pakistan are working together for the prosperity and development of the region. Pakistan and China enjoy deep-rooted linkages and relationship based on mutual trust and congeniality, which will increase manifold in the near future.
While highlighting aims and objectives of the Forum, Institute of Peace and Diplomatic Studies President Farhat Asif said that the forum is focused on six E’s i.e. Education, Energy, Economy, Empowerment, Entrepreneurship and Environment to explore the possibilities of developing deep rooted linkages within the SCO member countries and benefiting Pakistan and its citizens through “Connecting People and Providing Opportunities.” She added that the forum is meant to develop people-to-people capabilities and organisational partnerships, explore and mobilise resources and provide opportunities to enhance multilateral level cooperation hence engaging youth, women, civil society and business groups from Pakistan with all the member countries of SCO. Hence, further the objective of peace, prosperity, development and cooperation within the region in order to fight against three evils “Terrorism, Extremism and Separatism” together. The aim also is to raise awareness about the potential of SCO within Pakistan and jointly address the issues of the societies, covered by the SCO member states, through improved public engagement and diplomacy.