PM Shehbaz reaffirms pledge to achieve SCO goals

Published July 25, 2022
Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif holds a meeting with SCO Secretary General Ambassador Zhang Ming in Lahore on Sunday. — APP
Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif holds a meeting with SCO Secretary General Ambassador Zhang Ming in Lahore on Sunday. — APP

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif said on Sunday that Pakistan was keen to work with the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation’s (SCO) member countries to promote cooperation in various fields and meet its goals.

During a meeting with SCO Secretary General Ambassador Zhang Ming in Lahore, Mr Sharif expressed the hope that all SCO member states would continue to work together to build peace and enhance international solidarity and cooperation.

The prime minister also reaffirmed Pakistan’s strong commitment to the principles of the SCO’s charter and the “Shanghai Spirit”.

He also highlighted the challenges faced by SCO’s eight member countries — including China, India, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, Russia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan — due to rising fuel and food prices and the resultant food insecurity.

While appreciating SCO’s comprehensive development agenda, the prime minister emphasised that its core purpose was the growth and prosperity of member nations.

Seeks funding mechanisms for intra-organisation trade; wishes speedy recovery to US president

The premier also stressed the need for developing appropriate funding mechanisms to promote intra-SCO trade as well as development initiatives.

Explainer: What joining SCO means for Pakistan

He underlined Pakistan’s priorities and national development goals in areas such as trade and economy, connectivity and transport, poverty alleviation, energy, agriculture and food security, climate change, security, information technology and cultural linkage.

The prime minister appreciated the work of the Regional Anti-Terrorist Structure of SCO (SCO–RATS), where Pakistan, along with other members, was playing an active role in countering common security challenges.

The SCO secretary general lauded Pakistan’s constructive contributions to the organisation and invited the prime minister for a summit in the Uzbek city of Samarkand in September.

PM wishes swift recovery to Biden

Separately, the prime minister extended his good wishes to US President Joe Biden, who tested positive for Covid-19 earlier this week.

“I wish H.E. President Biden speedy and complete recovery from corona[virus],” a tweet from his official Twitter handle reads.

According to White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre, Mr Biden was experiencing “very mild symptoms” and would continue to carry out all his duties in isolation.

Mr Biden tested positive for the coronavirus on Thursday and has since been isolated.

Published in Dawn, July 25th, 2022

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