November 2, 2019 at 5:12 pm
Chitral Times Report
ISLAMABAD: Additional secretary and National Coordinator SCO Zahoor Ahmed led Pakistan’s delegation to the 18th Meeting of the Council of the Heads of Government of SCO Member States on 1-2 November 2019. He conveyed the greetings of Prime Minster Imran Khan and Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi to all leaders participating in the meeting. Views were exchanged on the emerging regional and global economic situation and making joint efforts for economic integration, regional connectivity and peace and security. In his remarks, the Additional Secretary highlighted the importance of SCO as a vital platform to establish a rule-based architecture of decision making with inclusive approach for regional cooperation, peace, security and stability across Eurasia. He informed the participants about the Government of Pakistan’s initiative “Ehsas Programme” and stressed that poverty alleviation should be one of the core objectives of SCO in the economic realm. Additional Secretary highlighted the importance of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), a flagship project under the transformative Chinese initiative of BRI. He reiterated Pakistan’s support for efforts towards strengthening an open, inclusive, transparent, predictable, non-discriminatory, stable and rule-based multilateral trading system based on WTO rules and regulations. The Additional Secretary reiterated Pakistan’s strong condemnation of terrorism in all its manifestations including State Terrorism. He expressed support for SCO’s efforts, primarily through SCO-RATS mechanism, against terrorism, extremism and other trans-national crimes. He also said that terrorism and extremism were global threats and should not be associated with a particular, country, religion or race. He also expressed Pakistan’s deep concern over rising trend of Islamophobia. On behalf of Pakistan, the Additional Secretary reaffirmed Pakistan’s commitment to facilitate an Afghan-led and Afghan-owned peace and reconciliation process that ensures the return of stability in Afghanistan. The Tashkent CHG approved, inter alia, the new version of Programme of Multilateral trade and Economic Cooperation of SCO Member States, a Programme on development of Ecological well being of cities of SCO Member States, Concept of Interaction of the Railway Administrations of the SCO Member States in the field of Railway Transport and Regulations of the SCO Consortium of Economic Analytical Centers. MoUs were signed for cooperation between (i) Customs Services of the SCO Member States on Mutual Integration of National Transit Systems;and (ii) the SCO and Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO). A Joint Communiqué was also issued at the end of the meeting.