Pakistan stands committed to Shanghai spirit: Abbasi

Staff Report
Wednesday - February 7, 2018
ISLAMABAD: Shanghai cooperation organisation (SCO) secretary general Rashid Alimov, on Tuesday, called on prime minister (PM) Shahid Khaqan Abbasi whereat Abbasi acknowledged Alimov for his support in steering the process of Pakistan’s membership of SCO and reiterated Pakistan’s commitment towards “Shanghai spirit” of mutual trust, mutual benefit, equality, respect for cultural diversity and pursuit of common development.

According to an official statement, PM added, Pakistan shares with SCO and its members, deep rooted historical and cultural links and strong economic and strategic complementarities.

Highlighting Pakistan’s active participation in all the SCO activities; Abbasi appreciated that SCO has established itself as a significant and influential player in the international arena by leveraging its comparative advantages.

Its unique and pragmatic portfolio of economic, trade, development, security and counter terrorism cooperation distinguishes it from the other international organisations.

Abbasi expressed Pakistan’s support towards SCO’s connectivity initiatives and offered to connect China Pakistan economic corridor (CPEC) with SCO’s 6 approved routes which will greatly enhance their vitality to become a conduit for linking Eurasian landmass, China, Russia and central Asia with the Arabian sea.

He expressed support for various SCO’s initiatives including the establishment of SCO development bank, SCO development fund, SCO business council, SCO interbank consortium and SCO’s initiative on small and medium enterprises (SMEs).

While expressing support for the SCO regional anti-terrorism structure (RATS), Abbasi reiterated Pakistan’s strong opposition to the three evils of terrorism, extremism and separatism.

SCO secretary general Alimov appreciated Pakistan’s active participation in all SCO activities.

He mentioned that the inclusion of new members like Pakistan has greatly strengthened SCO which has emerged as a true cross regional and cross continental organization, playing a multifaceted role in the world politics.

Alimov said that SCO can enormously benefit from Pakistan’s experience in successful combating of the menace of terrorism, narcotics and drugs as well as its economic strengths and connectivity potentials.

This is the first visit of Alimov, former Tajikistan foreign minister, after Pakistan’s full membership of SCO.

Separately, Alimov called on planning commission deputy chairman Sartaj Aziz on Tuesday.

Alimov mentioned that the full membership of Pakistan and India in SCO, will greatly enhance the development prospects of the entire region.

“Regional connectivity is one of the 7 goals of Pakistan’s development vision 2025 and is an important element of SCO’s development strategy 2025,” Aziz said.

He added that Pakistan is ready to take concerted measures which are aimed at further expanding mutually beneficial trade, economic cooperation and connectivity in the SCO region.

Aziz said that Pakistan encourages trade and transit through its territory as government is upgrading infrastructure, roads, railways and ports as Pakistan is open to become conduit for linking Eurasian landmass, China, Russia and Central Asia with the Arabian Sea.

During the visit of secretary general, a presentation was made on the different projects that are under implementation under the CPEC. In concluding the presentation, Aziz said that CPEC is a flagship project under one belt one road (OBOR) and will provide natural connectivity link to SCO member states.

“It is already connected to 6 routes of SCO through the nodal point of Kashgar,” Aziz informed.

CPEC-SCO connectivity will further enhance economic cooperation, moreover, special economic zones (SEZs) along the length of the corridor will spur growth and economic opportunities for the entire region, he said.

Planning commission deputy chairman expressed the hope that SCO may also convene a meeting of planning ministers of SCO member states to pursue the economic agenda of SCO.