PM Shehbaz reaffirms Pakistan’s commitment to achieving SCO goals; urges int’l community to call for Gaza ceasefire
ASTANA: (Web Desk) Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has reaffirmed Pakistan’s commitment to working together to achieve the common objective of peace and prosperity in line with the spirit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO).

While addressing the 24th summit of the Council of Heads of State of the SCO in Kazakhstan’s capital Astana, he urged the member states to ensure collective efforts against terrorism, poverty alleviation and dispute resolution, particularly the ongoing Israeli barbarism in Palestine.

The summit titled “Strengthening Multilateral Dialogue – Striving Towards a Sustainable Peace and Prosperity,” is being attended by leaders from Pakistan, China, Russia, Turkiye, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Belarus, Iran, India, Kyrgyzstan and other countries.

The prime minister’s address to the SCO summit encompassed all major regional and international issues including terrorism and extremism, Islamophobia, instability in Afghanistan, poverty, climate change, regional connectivity, and resolution of disputes.

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He said that Astana held significance for Pakistan where the country had formally joined the SCO in 2017 and congratulated Belarus for being the newest member.

He felicitated Chinese President Xi Jinping on assuming the SCO chairmanship for 2024-25, and he also told the international gathering that Pakistan aligned itself with the socioeconomic and security objectives of SCO.

He pointed out that contemporary realities of globalisation and interdependence necessitated working together and joining hands for a secure, peaceful and prosperous future for our people.

The prime minister highlighted the importance of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) for regional connectivity and economic integration.

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He also stressed the need for a collective and urgent global response to climate change, and he reiterated Pakistan’s commitment to working for a sustainable and nature-positive world.

The prime minister also emphasised the importance of lasting peace and stability in Afghanistan to achieve the SCO objectives, stressing that the interim Afghan government must take effective measures to prevent the use of its soil for terrorism against any other state.

He pointed out that the UN Security Council resolutions offered a workable framework to resolve long-standing disputes, including those in the region, adding that failure to implement those resolutions brought unimaginable suffering to the people.

“Failure to resolve issues amicably has brought sufferings…One of the worst examples is Palestine where 37,000 civilians, mostly women and children, have been killed, and over two million displaced due to Israeli indiscriminate and unabated bombing,” he said.

Prime Minister Shehbaz urged the SCO to denounce this barbarism and called for an immediate ceasefire leading to the implementation of a two-state solution which should include the establishment of a contiguous Palestine state with pre-1967 borders and Al-Quds as its capital.

He told the gathering that as the current chair of the SCO Council of Heads of Government, Pakistan had already proposed to hold the next meeting CHG on October 15-16 this year and looked forward to hosting all leaders in Islamabad.