Your Excellency, Prime Minister of Uzbekistan
Your Excellency, Secretary General Dmitry Fedorovich Mezentsev,
Honourable SCO Heads of Government,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
It is a matter of great honour for me to address this august gathering. I am extremely grateful to the Government and people of Uzbekistan for the gracious hospitality extended to me and my delegation.
I convey the regrets of my Prime Minister that he could not participate in this Meeting.
For centuries, Tashkent has been a cradle of civilization. Our meeting in this legendary city will guide our work in promising a better, brighter tomorrow for the people of our region.
Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) has a unified vision, characterized by trans-regional cooperation for peace and development. It offers the right framework forinclusive and participatory approach, based on principle of equality and equity among nations large and small.
SCO’s noble objectives, its impressive accomplishments and its expanding horizon, provide very strong foundation for the expanding activities of the organization.
The SCO region faces diverse challenges, which include terrorism and extremism, energy crisis, food-security environmental degration and shrinking export market due to continuing financial crisis in the Western world.
However, these challenges can also be converted into opportunities. The SCO region has human and technical resources to counter these challenges. The region has created a framework of cooperation, in the shape of SCO, to deal collectively with common challenges. SCO regional bloc can make a valuable contribution to global peace, security and economic prosperity.
Pakistan became an Observer state in SCO in 2005 and applied for full membership in 2010. In the past 8 years, Pakistan has attended all the SCO meetings. As an observer, Pakistan values the pronouncement of the member states on the need for greater involvement for the SCO Observer states and dialogue partners in practical cooperation within the framework of the organization.
We also feel that Pakistan admission to full membership would secure mutual interests and achieve shared objectives.
The scourge of terrorism and extremism is our common enemy. In view of the globalized nature of this threat, effective international and regional cooperation towards countering terrorism is essential.
Pakistan is making significant headway in its struggle against terrorism and extremism. The people and security agencies of Pakistan have made immense sacrifice in the fight against terrorism. These sacrifices must be acknowledged.
We, however, recognize that terrorism cannot be eliminated by military means alone. We are, therefore, pursuing a policy of dialogue with those extremist elements willing to be engaged, to bring an end to the ongoing violence and make them a part of mainstream politics within the parameters of our constitution.
Social and economic development is also a key to countering terrorism. Since assuming office, my Prime Minister has, therefore, made economic uplift of the country as our top priority. Pakistan looks towards SCO support in building up our national counter terrorism capacity.
Peace, stability and security of Afghanistan, is central to the peace and stability of our neighborhood. Pakistan wishes brotherly Afghanistan peace and prosperity.
We are offering all possible assistance in facilitating an Afghan-led and an Afghan-owned peace and reconciliation process. We have no favorites in Afghanistan.
Interests of Pakistan and SCO converge in Afghanistan. In the wake of drawdown of ISAF Forces, SCO needs to deepen its engagement with Afghanistan. There should be no security or economic vacuum in the country after the withdrawal of international forces. Pakistan would welcome SCO initiatives to deepen assistance for Afghanistan.
Pakistan would be happy to partner with SCO and Afghanistan especially in helping arrest the trans-regional flows of weapons and narcotics.
Pakistan is working on the twin objective of preserving domestic peace and ensuring regional stability. Pakistan’s economic fundamentals are strong. Far-reaching economic reforms are helping a turn around. Our economy, in consonance with the trend across SCO region, is on the road to recovery. We remain well positioned to afford our friends in Central Asia and broader Eurasia overland access to our highways and ports.
We wish to develop closer links with SCO financial and banking sectors, and promote linkages with the private sectors.
We wish to undertake with SCO high impact initiatives in the areas of energy, transport and telecommunication, as in disaster response and relief.
In short, we wish to partner with our friends in SCO, in articulating the roadmap for a better tomorrow.
I assure this august Council, of Pakistan’s continued interest in, and support to SCO objectives.
29 November 2013
Last modified: November 21, 2019
Our foreign policy is one of friendliness and goodwill towards all the nations of the world.