Islamabad: Pakistan’s inclusion in the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) bloc is an “important day” in its history, the country’s National Security Advisor said today. Sartaj Aziz said here that the SCO took a unanimous formal decision to admit Pakistan (and India) into the grouping dominated by Russia and China.
“10th of July, 2015 was a very important day in the diplomatic history of Pakistan,” he said referring to the endorsement by the SCO summit at Ufa, Russia to accord membership to the two South Asian neighbours.
“The process has been launched and after formalities are completed like ratification of SCO documents, Pakistan will become a full-fledged member of the SCO,” said Aziz. He said that the SCO can play an important role in shaping a conducive regional environment that would bring peace and prosperity to all members. Aziz said that another major development of “historic proportions” was the meeting of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif with Russian President Vladimir Putin on the sidelines of SCO.
The two leaders agreed to enhance bilateral relationship in all spheres, particularly in trade, investment and defence, he said. “A number of decisions were taken which are now being followed up to maintain and further enhance all round bilateral cooperation between Pakistan and Russia,” he said. Aziz said that Sharif also met China’s President Xi Jinping and reviewed status of progress made in implementing the decisions taken during Xi’s landmark visit to Pakistan in April with regard to the China Pakistan Economic Corridor.
The USD 46 billion project will link western China to Gwadar seaport in southern Pakistan. Sharif also met Afghan President Ashraf Ghani at the summit and both leaders expressed satisfaction on the meeting between Afghan government and Afghan Taliban to promote reconciliation in Afghanistan.
Aziz said Pakistan will continue to support the peace and reconciliation process on the conviction that a peaceful and prosperous Afghanistan is in the best interest of the region.