ISLAMABAD: Additional Secretary Zahoor Ahmed led Pakistan’s delegation to the 18th Meeting of the Council of the Heads of Government of Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) member states held in Tashkent, Uzbekistan from November 1-2.
He conveyed the greetings of Prime Minster Imran Khan and Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi to all leaders participating in the meeting. Views were exchanged on the emerging regional and global economic situation and making joint efforts for economic integration, regional connectivity and peace and security.
In his remarks, the additional secretary highlighted the importance of SCO as a vital platform to establish a rule-based architecture of decision making with inclusive approach for regional cooperation, peace, security and stability across Eurasia.
He informed the participants about the government of Pakistan’s initiative “Ehsas Programme” and stressed that poverty alleviation should be one of the core objectives of SCO in the economic realm.
He highlighted the importance of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), a flagship project under the transformative Chinese initiative of Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).
He reiterated Pakistan’s support for efforts towards strengthening an open, inclusive, transparent, predictable, non-discriminatory, stable and rule-based multilateral trading system based on World Trade Organisation (WTO) rules and regulations.
The additional secretary reiterated Pakistan’s strong condemnation of terrorism in all its manifestations including state terrorism. He expressed support for SCO’s efforts, primarily through Regional Anti-Terrorist Structure (RATS) mechanism against terrorism, extremism and other trans-national crimes.
He also said that terrorism and extremism were global threats and should not be associated with a particular, country, religion or race. He expressed Pakistan’s deep concern over rising trend of Islamophobia.
On behalf of Pakistan, the additional secretary reaffirmed Pakistan’s commitment to facilitate the Afghan peace and reconciliation process that ensures the return of stability in Afghanistan.
The Tashkent Council of the Heads of Government approved the new version of Programme of Multilateral trade and Economic Cooperation of SCO Member States, a Programme on development of ecological well being of cities of SCO Member States, Concept of Interaction of the Railway Administrations of the SCO Member States in the field of Railway Transport and Regulations of the SCO Consortium of Economic Analytical Centers.
MoUs were signed for cooperation between customs services of the SCO member states on Mutual Integration of National Transit Systems, and between the SCO and the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO).
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