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Pak PM raises Kashmir issue at SCO, calls for UNSC resolve

Shahbaz, who arrived in Kazakhstan’s capital of Astana on Wednesday for a two-day official visit, represented Pakistan at the SCO meeting where leaders and diplomats from countries including China, India, Turkiye, Iran, Azerbaijan, and Kyrgyzstan have gathered to discuss economic and security cooperation.

News Arena Network - Astana - UPDATED: July 4, 2024, 05:43 AM - 4 mins read

Pakistan Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif.

Pak PM raises Kashmir issue at SCO, calls for UNSC resolve

Pakistan Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif.


Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Thursday raised the issue of terrorism as a major concern for member states at the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) summit and said terrorism in its all forms should be tackled through joint efforts.

 

Shahbaz, who arrived in Kazakhstan’s capital of Astana on Wednesday for a two-day official visit, represented Pakistan at the SCO meeting where leaders and diplomats from countries including China, India, Turkiye, Iran, Azerbaijan, and Kyrgyzstan have gathered to discuss economic and security cooperation.

 

The prime minister, during his address, emphasised the importance of maintaining peace in the region as a precondition for economic development and called for “meaningful” engagement with the Afghan Taliban government, Dawn News reported.

 

“Achieving lasting peace in Afghanistan is a lynchpin to this common objective,” he said, adding that the international community "meaningfully engage with the Afghan government to meet their genuine economic and development needs”.

 

Sharif also said the Afghan Taliban must also “take concrete measures” to ensure its soil is not used for terrorism against any other state.

 

“Terrorism in all its forms and manifestations, including state terrorism, must be condemned in clear and unambiguous terms,” the premier stressed, adding that there was “no justification for killing innocent people or using the bogey of terrorism” for political point-scoring.

 

“We must ensure respect for the universally recognised principles of sovereignty, territorial integrity and people's fundamental right to self-determination,” he said, adding the UNSC resolutions offer a workable framework to resolve long-standing disputes, including those in our region, Sharif said, in a veiled reference to the Kashmir issue.

 

Regarding Pakistan’s role in regional trade connectivity, the premier said the country’s location made it an “ideal trade conduit” for the region and added that the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) supplemented “SCO’s vision of regional connectivity and economic interaction”.

 

Shehbaz also advocated for the promotion “of national currencies for mutual settlements within the region” to avoid “global financial shocks”.

He said alternative funding mechanisms would “give impetus to different development projects in the SCO region”.

 

The prime minister said Pakistan would do “its utmost to provide impetus to collective efforts to raise living standards in the SCO region” while talking about the rise in political and military conflicts across the globe and consequent hike in food and fuel prices, which have “seriously affected members’ ability to address poverty”.

 

The premier also emphasised the need to promote the use of national currencies for mutual settlement within the SCO region and said the move could help avoid international financial shocks.

 

He said Pakistan supported the proposal to create an SCO alternative development funding mechanism to give the needed impetus to various stalled development initiatives.

 

He also touched on the topic of globalisation and highlighted that leaders had the responsibility to rise above partisan geopolitics and join hands to secure a prosperous future for our people.

 

Welcoming the SCO agreement on environment protection, Shehbaz said Pakistan remains committed to working for a sustainable and nature-positive world.

 

The Prime Minister also urged the SCO to denounce Israel's actions in Gaza and call for an immediate and unconditional ceasefire leading to the implementation of the two-state solution.

 

He also welcomed the inclusion of Belarus as a full SCO member state and congratulated President Xi Jinping on assuming the Chair of SCO for the year 2024-25.

 

He also said Pakistan was looking forward to hosting the SCO Council of Heads of Government meeting in Islamabad in October this year.

 

Pakistan and India became a member of SCO in June 2017 at a summit in Kazakhstan.

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