Pakistan strategically located for linking central asian region with sea routes: SCO Secretary General

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ISLAMABAD  (PEN)  –   Shanghai Cooperation Organisation Secretary General   Zhang Ming termed Pakistan’s geo-strategic location ideal for promoting regional connectivity   and facilitating the SCO members.

“The countries of Central Asia are land-locked and Pakistan is ideally located to provide shorter sea access to these countries,” Zhang Ming said while addressing Institute of Strategic studies Islamabad.

Zhang Ming said this will facilitate the trade among Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) member states and even beyond.

“The transport corridors stand to benefit all the member states, leading to win-win cooperation for all regional countries,” Zhang Ming said.

Zhang Ming said SCO is a multi-dimensional organisation in terms of its scope and functioning and Pakistan can benefit greatly from it,” he said.

During his lecture, SCO Secretary General Zhang Ming talked about the structure, functions, and history of the SCO in detail.

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While shedding light on the difference among the member states, he mentioned that the organisation was established on the guiding principles of the Shanghai Spirit.

Zhang Ming said although it started as a regional security organisation, it expanded its functioning later to the economy, politics, and people-to-people contacts. “The SCO is expanding. It started with the inclusion of Pakistan and India as its permanent members. Iran applied for full membership and, after fulfilling the criteria of the membership, it will be granted permanent member status eventually.”  He informed the audience that the SCO family now comprises twenty-one members.

Zhang Ming said China is an important member country of SCO. Since its inception, it has been contributing to enhancing cooperation among the member states, particularly in the area of economic development.

However, he particularly emphasised that SCO functions following consensus-based principles were equally empowering all the members.

He said that SCO was established twenty years ago when the context and the needs of the time were different. Now, many geopolitical and geo-economic changes are taking place in the international arena. Therefore, he said, SCO should adapt accordingly for its functional efficiency.

Earlier, in his welcome remarks, China-Pakistan Study Centre (CPSC) Director Dr Talat Shabbir highlighted the major features of SCO, its achievements, the challenges being faced, and Pakistan’s contributions to SCO.

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