Dumping NATO joining the SCO

November 26, 2010

DUSHANBEPrime Minister Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani while reiterating Pakistan’s sincere desire for active participation in the economic development of region under the SCO on Thursday called for early upgradation of the country’s status as full member of the important regional group.

“Development is high on Pakistan’s priorities. We are keen to participate actively in promoting SCO’s economic agenda. We wish to associate ourselves with SCO’s Entrepreneurs Council, the SCO Inter-Bank arrangements, and closely link up with SCO’s transportation, communication and customs cooperation.

“We also look forward to early upgradation of our status as full member of the SCO,” Gilani said while addressing the 9th Shanghai Cooperation Organization Heads of Government Council (HGC) meeting hosted by Tajikistan here on Thursday and attended by the member as well as observer states of the SCO.

Besides the President and the Prime Minister of host Tajikistan, the HGC meeting was attended by the Chinese Premier, the Prime Ministers of Russia, Kazakhstan and other representatives of the member states as well as observers.

Pakistan is among the four countries having observer status in the SCO, which was created in Shanghai in 2001 by its member states including Kazakhstan, China, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.

Iran, India and Mangolia also have the observer status in SCO, with Belarus and Sri Lanka as dialogue partners. Afghanistan is also invited in the SCO moots as a special guest.

Prime Minister Gilani in his wide-ranging speech at the SCO moot spoke at length on various issues of common interest to the region and SCO countries including the economic potential and future prospects through enhanced regional cooperation as well as on tackling the challenges particularly peace and security of the region.

He said Pakistan takes great pride in associating itself with the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, which has made remarkable progress in a short span of time and in the process, has emerged as a dynamic organization that has great potential to shape the future of this region.

“Most of all, it (SCO) binds us together in a unique partnership to promote peace, security, prosperity and development,” he remarked.

The Prime Minister said the stability and prosperity of the SCO region is critical to global security, adding, it also holds great promise for ensuring sustained global economic growth.

He said the ongoing processes of profound transformation in global strategic and economic landscape impact directly on the future well being of the peoples of our region.

The Prime Minister stressed that the regional countries should play their rightful role in determining the trajectory of regional and inter-regional cooperation in a holistic and comprehensive manner.

“It is essential that these processes are tailored to suit the needs of our peoples and are in accordance with their aspirations for peace and development,” he added.

The Prime Minister said in the realm of security, SCO’s focus on counter terrorism and interdicting illicit drug trafficking were important, adding, Pakistan was happy to associate itself closely with these endeavours.

Gilani also stressed for SCO’s role in bringing durable peace and stability in the region, saying, “It is important that the SCO’s framework of cooperation on issues of security, stability and peace is advanced in a comprehensive manner. It must focus on bringing durable peace and stability to the larger SCO region.”

In the realm of economic cooperation, he said the regional countries need to work under the SCO process for closer integration of our respective economies; build connectivity – both physical and institutional; establish the requisite legal and regulatory framework and enable the corporate sector to forge partnerships which are mutually beneficial.

“We also need to take steps for protecting our economies from negative fall out of global economic and financial crises. It is by enhancing our own collective strengths that we could hope for sustained progress,” he added.

The Prime Minister also emphasized on the need of promoting cultural ties and people to people relations in the region, giving priority to facilitating closer collaboration in education, science and technology, preservation and projection of our glorious heritage.

“The SCO region has always been the heartland of Eurasia. Since the earliest of times, this region was enriched by civilizational interactions. Pakistan was on the ancient Silk route,” he mentioned adding that “we would be happy to contribute to the revival of Silk route concept under the SCO framework.”

Prime Minister Gilani said Pakistan believes that the SCO can play an important role in promoting peace and stability in Afghanistan, adding, trans-regional development cooperation holds the key to promoting durable stability based on Afghanistan’s economic development.



One comment

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