- Nazarbayev announces full membership after signing of documents in Astana
- PM Nawaz says Pakistan stands ready to contribute towards collective objectives
Pakistan formally became a full member of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) during 17th meeting of the Heads of the State Council summit held here on Friday.
Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev made an announcement in this regard after signing of documents by the founding members at the conclusion of the summit. Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif along with his delegation attended the meeting.
China President Xi Jinping, Russia President Vladimir Putin, Kyrgyz President Almazbek Atambayev, Tajik President Emomali Rahmon, Uzbek President Shavkat Mirziyoyev, Afghan President Muhammad Ashraf Ghani, President of Belarus Alexandar Lukashenk and Mongolian President Tsakhiagiin Elbegdorj in their speeches also extended felicitation to Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.
Earlier, a welcoming ceremony was held here in which Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif was warmly received by the Kazakh president in the powerful Eurasian body. Pakistan has been an observer with SCO since 2005 and applied for full membership of the organisation in 2010. The decision, in principle, to give membership to Pakistan was taken by the SCO Heads of States meeting held in Ufa, Russia, in 2015.
The Heads of State Council is the highest decision-making body which meets annually. Pakistan fully subscribes to the Charter of SCO and the Shanghai Spirit. Pakistan as an observer has been actively participating in the activities of the organisation. Pakistan shares with the SCO and its member states historical and cultural links, as well as strong economic and strategic relations.
In his address at the summit, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said that Pakistan, as SCO member, would strive further to achieve the collective objectives of the organization for regional cooperation, connectivity and economic prosperity. Pakistan pursued a policy of peaceful neighbourhood and stressed upon promotion of peace and harmony for the future generations, he said.
With its expansion, he said that the SCO has been transformed into the true transcontinental organisation. The SCO provided anchor role for regional progress and prosperity in view of the global changes, he said. The prime minister said that SCO gave the member states a platform for shared prosperity and connectivity and to overcome poverty, unemployment, terrorism and to tackle climate change and water security.
Nawaz said that Pakistan successfully fought the twin evils of terrorism and extremism, and his government brought about a complete turnaround in the economic situation. The objectives of the SCO resonated with Pakistan’s core values for shared prosperity. He pointed out that Pakistan was diligently implementing the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC ) – a flagship of the One belt One Road initiative. He said it would be beneficial for the entire SCO members.
Congratulating India on the full member status of the SCO along with Pakistan, the prime minister said it was a historic day for Pakistan and the SCO members as well and thanked the founding members including China, Russia and others for their staunch support to Pakistan to become its full-fledged member.
He said that Pakistan was not unfamiliar with the SCO mechanism but had developed deep relations by attending its summits and worked closely at its different forums. He said that Pakistan came prepared and eager to learn from the founding members in the changing international environment.
Adviser on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz, Minister for Commerce Khurram Dastgir and State Minister for Petroleum Jam Kamal were accompanying the prime minister in the summit.