ISLAMABAD    -   Prime Minister Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif’s statement at the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation Summit conveyed Pakistan’s vision for the strategic direction of SCO in the face of global political and economic transformation.

“Pakistan’s commitment to the principles and purposes of SCO Charter and to the ‘Shanghai Spirit’ as a core value of SCO was also reaffirmed,” the Foreign Office Spokesperson said in a press release on Saturday.

Prime Minister Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif led the Pakistan delegation to the Meeting of the Council of Heads of State of Shanghai Cooperation Organisation held in Samarkand on September 15-16.

The annual council meeting is the highest forum in SCO where all the strategic decisions regarding the future direction of the Organisation are taken.

All eight heads of state/government of SCO member states attended the Summit meeting in person.

“Participation in the Samarkand SCO Summit provided a significant opportunity to present Pakistan’s viewpoint on important national, regional and global issues. The Prime Minister’s comprehensive engagements with world leaders gathered in Samarkand served to further strengthen our bilateral relations with these countries,” the spokesperson added.

In his statement at SCO, the prime minister presented a compelling case for collective action by SCO countries to combat the ravages of climate change.

He shared details of the human tragedy and the massive devastation caused by the climate calamity that struck Pakistan.

The prime minister expressed deep appreciation for the support proffered by SCO leaders for relief and assistance to the people affected by the floods.

The SCO leaders expressed their support and solidarity with Pakistan at this critical time.

The president of Uzbekistan on behalf of the Council of Heads of State of SCO appealed to the international community to support Pakistan in overcoming the devastating consequences of the floods.

On the situation in Afghanistan, the prime minister underlined that after 40 years of conflict, there was a real possibility to establish sustainable peace in that country.

He called for a new compact between Afghanistan and the international community and the need for constructive engagement with the Afghan interim authorities.

The prime minister also stressed the importance of inclusivity, respect for human rights of all Afghans including women, and effective counterterrorism action.

He underscored Pakistan’s active role in maintaining regional peace and security, and in counter-terrorism through the SCO-RATS platform.

He highlighted Pakistan’s contribution towards global counter-terrorism and the immense sacrifices and economic losses incurred over the last decades

On the sidelines of the SCO Summit, the prime minister held a number of meetings with leaders including the Presidents of China, Russia, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Iran, Azerbaijan, Belarus and Turkiye.

As SCO Chair, the President of Uzbekistan had invited as special guests President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkiye, President Ilham Aliyev of Azerbaijan, Prime Minister of Armenia Nikol Pashinyan and President of Turkmenistan Serdar Berdimukhamedov to the Samarkand CHS. Heads of SCO Observer states Iran, Mongolia and Belarus also attended the Summit.

SCO Leaders adopted the Samarkand Declaration which articulated the collective stance of SCO on important global and regional issues. In addition, they also adopted four joint statements on climate change, food security, energy security and the statement on maintaining reliable international supply chains.

SCO Leaders also approved new initiatives including: Comprehensive Action Plan for 2023-2027 on the implementation of the provisions of the Treaty on Long-Term Good-Neighborliness, Friendship and Cooperation; Concept for Cooperation of the SCO Member States in Developing Connectivity and Creating Efficient Economic and Transport Corridors; Regulations on the Honorary Title “Goodwill Ambassador of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization; Roadmap for Gradual Increase in the Share of National Currencies in Mutual Settlements of the SCO Member States.

Moreover, four Intergovernmental Agreements on: i) Cooperation on Development of Tourism ii) Cooperation in Sphere of Trade in Services; iii) MoU on Cooperation in Museum Matters; and iv) Cooperation in Plant Quarantine were also signed at the Samarkand CHS.

SCO Heads of State and Government agreed on further expansion of SCO and approved the request of Belarus for full membership status as well as requests by Bahrain, UAE, Kuwait, Maldives and Myanmar as new Dialogue Partners.