President Mamnoon Hussain will arrive in China today (Friday) evening to attend the 18th Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) Summit to be held in Qingdao, a coastal city in east China’s Shandong province from June 9 to 10.
The president will lead Pakistani delegation and deliver a keynote address at the summit.
“The president, in his speech, will define Pakistan’s perspective on the regional and international devel-opments and the role Pakistan envisages to play in this organization in the coming years.”
On the sidelines of the summit, Mamnoon Hussain will hold an important meeting with Chinese Presi-dent Xi Jinping. This meeting will be yet another high-level contact between the leaders of all-weather strategic partners Pakistan and China in the last two months.
Pakistani President Mamnoon Hussain Thursday ahead of his departure for the upcoming SCO’s summit told the Chinese media that his country sees the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) as an important framework for regional cooperation and it has played a vital role in safeguarding peace and security in the region.
“It allows us to share perspectives, coordinate positions and develop practical and concrete cooperation with these important countries,” he said.
The president said the organization espouses the values of the Shanghai Spirit, which features mutual trust and respect, equality, respect for diverse civilizations and pursuit of shared development.
Pakistan, as a new member of the SCO since 2017, is “committed to enhancing our relations with all SCO members on the basis of these values,” he added.
The Pakistani president hailed the SCO’s Regional Anti-Terrorist Structure (RATS) as an important and useful forum for cooperation against the common enemy of terrorism. He said his country has successfully combated terrorism and it is ready to share its experiences in tackling the menace of terrorism through the SCO-RATS.
He expected that initiatives of SCO on investment promotion, trade facilitation, customs cooperation, e-commerce, small and medium enterprises, rail and road connectivity and tourism cooperation should be tied to specific timelines, that initiatives such as SCO Development Bank and SCO Development Fund should be pursued in earnest, and the SCO Business Council should be empowered and entrusted to establish business-to-business linkages.
The president emphasized that nowadays the SCO stands out not just in terms of the sheer size of its populations or the territorial expanse it covers.
“While some major powers are becoming increasingly inward and isolationist, the Shanghai Spirit of mutual trust, equality, shared development and respect for diversity offers a template for a new kind of inter-state cooperation.
By according equal priority to economic development and security cooperation, the SCO serves as a model of efficient and effective cooperation,” Hussain said.
He said the Belt and Road Initiative is a revolutionary global movement connecting over 60 countries with generational impact. “It is a win-win partnership that is already catalyzing growth and integrating economies all across Eurasia, the Middle East and Africa. Pakistan is a strong believer and an ardent supporter of the BRI.”
The Pakistani president expected that the SCO can be a vehicle for the Belt and Road Initiative as all SCO countries are connected through the ancient Silk Route. He said that the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) is fast reaching fruition.
“It entails greater connectivity and trade linkages between Pakistan and China through a network of road, rail, fiber optic cable, energy pipelines and power generation projects,” he said.
The Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road initiative, proposed by China in 2013, is aimed at building a trade and infrastructure network connecting Asia with Europe and Africa along the ancient trade routes.