Zhengzhou: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif while attending the 14th Heads of Government Council meeting of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) in China on Tuesday reaffirmed Pakistan’s commitment to counter-terrorism and combating crime.
“We reaffirm our commitment to collectively confront the challenges of extremism, separatism, terrorism, human and drug trafficking, organised crime and environmental and natural disasters,” the premier told the summit.
However, “the security situation around us remains precarious”, he said, adding that Pakistan is “seeing challenges to state sovereignty, territorial integrity”.
“Armed conflicts continue to rage in several parts of the world, unleashing forces beyond the control of anyone. Militant ideologies need to be countered,” he said.
Terrorism has become an “even more insidious” threat, he said.
“These developments require that we join forces and develop comprehensive strategies. SCO has a special role to play in promoting peace and regional stability.”
Nawaz called for members of the SCO to identify common values and build on them.
Television footage showed Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif and Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs Tariq Fatemi present at the summit as Nawaz addressed the conference.
Prime ministers from the Russian Federation, Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan are also attending the summit, while Chinese Premier Li Keqiang is chairing the meeting.
The prime minister of Belarus, the chief executive of Afghanistan, the vice premier of Mongolia, the minister of state for foreign affairs of India and the minister from Iran are attending the meeting as representatives of SCO observers countries.
PM Nawaz will attend a welcome reception hosted by Keqiang in honour of the heads of governments of SCO member states and observer countries. The prime minister will also hold a bilateral meeting with the Chinese premier today (Tuesday) in which matters of mutual interest will be discussed.
Pakistan was invited to become full member of the SCO at the Ufa summit in July this year and all relevant procedures are being completed for full membership.