PR No.178
Islamabad: September 17, 2021

Prime Minister Imran Khan led the Pakistan delegation to the Meeting of the Council of Heads of State of Shanghai Cooperation Organization held in Dushanbe 16-17 September 2021. Heads of States of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyz Republic, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and Pakistan attended the summit in person while Presidents of China and Russia and Prime Minister of India joined the Summit virtually. SCO Observer States Iran, Mongolia and Belarus were also invited to attend the Summit. This year’s summit marks the 20th anniversary of the founding of SCO in which it has grown in both membership and in its spectrum of work. Today, SCO represents 44% of the world’s population, 25% of global landmass, and 20% of the global GDP. Heads of States at this summit made important decisions including endorsing the process of accession of Iran as a full member as well as Dialogue Partner status for Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Egypt. SCO leaders also endorsed the new Secretary General of SCO from China whose three year term will commence from 1 January 2022 as well as the new Director of Executive Committee of SCO Regional Anti-Terrorist Structure (RATS) from Uzbekistan. SCO Heads of State approved 22 Decisions across the whole gamut of areas of cooperation ranging from environmental protection, information security, Anti -drugs cooperation plan, action plan on mitigating the effects of Coronavirus and Green belt program. They also adopted the Dushanbe Declaration that sets out the priorities and areas of focus of cooperation of SCO member states and adopted Joint Statements on Food Security and Cooperation in Science, Technology and Innovation. The Prime Minister’s statement at the Summit highlighted Pakistan’s priorities for the SCO framework of cooperation in particular socio-economic development, poverty alleviation, transport and connectivity projects within SCO region. On international and regional issues, Prime Minister presented an unequivocal stance against the tendency to equate terrorism with any one religion and the need to arrest the trend towards ideologies of bigotry and hate. He underscored that the fight against terror would not be won if we ignore these threats as well as state terrorism, perpetrated against people living under foreign occupation in disputed territories. On the situation in Afghanistan, the Prime Minister called upon the international community to ensure that there is no renewed conflict in Afghanistan and the security situation is stabilized. He also drew attention of SCO Heads of States towards the humanitarian crisis unfolding there and stated that now was the moment to stand by the Afghan people.Following the SCO Summit, a Joint Summit between Heads of State of SCO member countries and Heads of State of member states of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) was held on “Outreach on Afghanistan.” On the sidelines of the SCO Summit, the Prime Minister held meetings with his counterparts from Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Iran and Belarus, as well as met the State Councilor and Foreign Minister of China.In the afternoon of 17 September the Prime Minister held bilateral talks with the President Emomali Rohman of Tajikistan. During their discussions, the two leaders reviewed the entire spectrum of bilateral relations in areas – including trade and economy, parliamentary cooperation, science & technology, security and defence, and people-to-people contacts. They expressed satisfaction on existing state of bilateral cooperation and reaffirmed to continue their joint efforts to further solidify Pakistan-Tajikistan ties. The Prime Minister underlined the importance of signing of the Joint Declaration on “Establishment of Strategic Partnership” between the two countries and eight other Agreements/ MoUs in tourism, banking, financial cooperation, information exchange, sports, and taxation. The Prime Minister stressed on timely completion of CASA-1000 Power Transmission Line Project. The Prime Minister underscored the possibilities of regional integration and connectivity to Tajikistan and Central Asian countries through Pakistan’s seaports. He invited Tajikistan to capitalize on the tremendous opportunities from the shortest and most cost-effective transit trade route offered by Gawadar, Bin Qasim and Karachi ports.