ASTANA: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Friday said that it is a historic day as Pakistan has become a permanent member of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) summit.
“The SCO goals resonate with Pakistan national ethos, and so do the core values of the Shanghai spirit. I am thankful to member countries for giving Pakistan a permanent membership”, the premier said while addressing the SCO’s heads of council meeting here in Kazakhstan.
The premier said, Pakistan is determined to implement the SCO charter while welcoming a proposal made by Chinese President Xi Jinping on a five-year treaty for good neighbourliness among SCO members. “Economy plays a key role in connecting countries and bringing stability,” he further said.
“As leaders, we should leave a legacy of peace and amity for our future generations, not a toxic harvest of conflict and animosity. Instead of talking about counter-weights and containment, let us create shared spaces for all,” PM Nawaz urged SCO heads of state.
On the occasion, he also congratulated India for becoming a full member of the SCO. “The SCO gives us a powerful platform for partnerships to promote peace, build trust and spur economic development for shared prosperity”, he said.
After the inclusion of Pakistan and India, the SCO will have a total of eight states as permanent members. Previously, the permanent members were China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.
Pakistan had applied for the membership in 2010, and has been an abserver since 2005. The decision to give membership to Pakistan was taken by the SCO Heads of States meeting held in Ufa, Russia in 2015.
SCO represents nearly half of the world’s population after the inclusion of the two South Asian states.
PM meets Afghan president
Earlier today, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif met Afghan President Ashraf Ghani in Astana on the sidelines of the SCO, the state radio reported.
Pakistan’s prime minister discussed the bilateral relations with the Afghan president. Advisor to Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz was also present in the meeting.