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The Adviser to the Prime Minister on National Security and Foreign Affairs, Mr. Sartaj Aziz left for Dushanbe, Tajikistan, today as the head of a delegation to represent Pakistan at the meeting of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO)’s Council of Heads of State, being held there Sept. 11-12, 2014. Tajikistan currently holds the Chairmanship of the SCO under the motto of “Cooperation, Co-development and Co-prosperity.”

The SCO comprises six Member States, five Observers and three Dialogue Partners. Established in June 2001, the SCO aims at strengthening friendly relations amongst states, maintenance of peace, stability and security in the region, building a new, just and rational international political and economic order, joint efforts in combating terrorism, extremism, separatism and the menace of narcotic substances.

Pakistan subscribes to the principles of the SCO contained in its Charter. As an observer of the SCO, Pakistan has been making substantive contributions for regional peace, security and development in SCO Heads of State Council and Heads of Government Council meetings. It is a matter of satisfaction that Pakistan’s request for membership of SCO is under active consideration of SCO members.

Tajikistan, separated from Pakistan only by a narrow strip of territory, is a close friend with common history, culture and linguistic affinity. This is a gateway for Pakistan to Central Asia and an entry point to Pakistan for Tajikistan and other Central Asian States for the use of Pakistani seaports, which promise easy and economical access to and from global markets. Political, economic and security cooperation between the two countries continues to grow stronger and is a source of stability and prosperity for the region.

The Adviser, during his visit, will also hold bilateral meetings on the sidelines of the Summit.

Sept. 11, 2014

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