DUSHANBE: Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi at a meeting of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) on Friday said that sustained international trade is dependent upon peaceful environment.
The 17th Meeting of the Council of Heads of Government of the SCO is being held in Dushanbe, Tajikistan.
FM Qureshi also added that Pakistan’s experience in fighting against terrorism could be beneficial for the SCO.
“Pakistan has played an important role to combat terrorism and extremism,” he said during the address.
He elaborated that regional security conflict must be addressed as well.
“Pakistan fully supports the [SCO] charter. We believe in bilateral cooperation to achieve common goals,” Qureshi asserted.
He said that more than just a regional platform, the SCO was a “fulcrum representing the hopes, the aspirations, the dreams and the expectations of nearly half of humanity”. Qureshi added that the world was in a “state of flux” and a “global architecture for peace, security and development, that treats all sovereign states on the footings of equality and respect” was required.
“By subscribing to these principles, the SCO presages such architecture,” he said.
The foreign minister also reiterated Pakistan’s previous proposal for the establishment of SCO-Pakistan corridors for trade, transit and energy.
During the council’s meeting, FM Qureshi said that peace and security in Afghanistan were essential for stability in the region and said Pakistan supported the organisation’s contact group on Afghanistan, hoping to see them contribute “more effectively” for peace and stability in the country.
Qureshi also thanked the SCO secretariat for facilitating Pakistan’s induction into the organisation’s programmes and processes.
“We are happy to note that in addition to finalising financial arrangements, this meeting will conclude significant understandings on trade, scientific collaboration, environmental protection and food security, among others.”
“The Belt and Road Initiative and the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor [CPEC] merit the SCO’s full support,” Qureshi said.
He added that lessons could be learnt from within the SCO community on issues such as eradicating poverty and fast-tracking development.
The foreign minister expressed his gratitude to the chairman of the council as well as Tajik Prime Minister Kokhir Rasulzoda and the people of Tajikistan for their hospitality. “Tajikistan is Pakistan’s close neighbour, a good friend and a dear brother,” he concluded.