Pakistan is set to become a full member of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) in its upcoming session in Astana, Kazakhstan which starts June 8.
In a statement released to the media, the Foreign Office (FO) has stated that Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif will participate in the 17th meeting of the Heads of State Council (HoSC) of the SCO on June 8-9 in Kazakhstan.
While there, the PM will hold bilateral meetings with other leaders on the sidelines of the summit. PM Sharif will also attend the inauguration ceremony of the International Expo 2017, which will host 100 participating countries, including Pakistan.
Pakistan, which has been an observer at the SCO since 2005, applied for a permanent membership in 2010. According to the FO spokesperson, "The decision, in principle, to give membership to Pakistan was taken by the SCO Heads of States in a meeting held in Ufa, Russia, in 2015".
In the press release, the FO stated that Pakistan had been actively participating in the organization's activities as an observer and that it fully subscribes to the "Shanghai Spirit".
The statement further added that Pakistan shares "historical and cultural links, as well as strong economic and strategic complementarities" with members of the SCO.
It stated that the SCO will help Pakistan advance its interests regional peace, stability and development and its support for regional cooperation against terrorism and extremism.
India is also set to be included in the SCO in the upcoming Summit in Astana. In becoming full members of the SCO, Pakistan and India will join the ranks of current members Kazakhstan, China, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan.