Defence Secretary Lt. General (Retd) Ikram Ul Haq led the Pakistani delegation to the Meeting of Defence Ministers of SCO countries in Bishkek on 29 April 2019. Four agreements/ protocols were signed at the end of the meeting including a Plan of Defence Ministries of SCO countries for 2020-21 besides an amendment to allow Pakistan and India to join the Agreement on holding Joint Military exercises.

Defence Ministers of China, Russia, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and India also participated in the meeting.

In his statement Defence Secretary highlighted immense contributions made by Pakistan in fighting and eliminating extremism from its soil. He also spoke on militarization of space and cyber space which were posing new challenges to national security in all member states. He stressed the need to evolve a system of national security based on international law which provides equal and undiminished security to all member states. He also spoke on growing challenge of terrorism, extremism and separatism leading to increasing foreign involvement in the region. He underscored the need to reduce regional tension which could impede comprehensive cooperation among all member states. He also highlighted in detail on Pakistan’s immense sacrifice to defeat extremism from its soil in terms of immense human and material cost.

All Defence Ministers including Lt. Gen (Retd) Ikram Ul Haq also called on President Sooronbay Sharipovich Jeenbekov before the concluding session and thanked him for making excellent arrangements for the Ministerial Conference. President Jeenbekov expressed satisfaction on level of cooperation among armed forces of member states in fighting the scourge of terrorism, extremism and separatism.

Defence Secretary also held bilateral meeting with H.E. Gen.Wei Fenghe, Defence Minister of the People’s Republic of China on sidelines of the Conference. Both sides reviewed existing level of cooperation between the two countries and stressed the need to further expand it both within bilateral as well as SCO context.

Bishkek
30 April, 2019

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