Prime Minister Imran Khan will go to Tajikistan today for the 20th Shanghai Cooperation Organization Council of Heads of State (SCO-CHS) meeting, which will be held in Dushanbe.
The prime minister will have bilateral talks with other leaders on the margins of the SCO Summit, accompanied by a high-level ministerial team.
The SCO summit will be the first gathering of heads of state since the Taliban took control of Kabul, and all eyes will be on the Afghan representative. Afghanistan is a member of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation with observer status and has been working to gain full membership.
If Afghanistan is represented, it would be Prime Minister Imran Khan’s first high-level meeting with an Afghan official since the interim government in Kabul was established.
The prime minister will have the bilateral segment of the visit after attending the SCO-CHS.
His talks with Tajik President Emomali Rahmon will cover the whole range of bilateral relations, with a particular emphasis on regional connectivity and trade, economic, and investment ties.
Both nations have already stated their strong desire to establish a formal strategic alliance.
“Pakistan and Tajikistan enjoy close brotherly relations underpinned by the bonds of common faith, history, and culture. The two countries have shared perceptions and a common desire to promote economic development, peace, security and stability in the region “, said the Foreign Office.
The Prime Minister has been invited by President Emomali Rahmon, and this will be his third journey to Central Asia, demonstrating Pakistan’s increased involvement with the area, according to the Foreign Office.
The prime minister’s visit is part of Pakistan’s expanded engagement with Central Asia under the ‘Vision Central Asia’ policy, which has refocused Pakistan’s attention on five key areas: political ties, trade and investment, energy and connectivity, security, and defense, and people-to-people contacts.
The premier will also open the inaugural meeting of the Pakistan-Tajikistan Business Forum, which will be attended by a group of Pakistani businesspeople.
The Joint Business Forum will help to catalyze the development of trade and investment relations between the two countries, as well as encourage business-to-business interactions between the two trading communities. On the sidelines, a meeting of the Pakistan-Tajikistan Joint Business Council will be conducted.
Shanghai Cooperation Organization is a non-profit organisation based in Shanghai (SCO)
The Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) is an 8-member permanent inter-governmental trans-regional organization that was founded in Shanghai on June 15, 2001.
Pakistan joined the SCO as an observer in 2005 and became a full member in June 2017 during the SCO-CHS Summit in Astana.
Other SCO members include Russia, China, India, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyz Republic, and Tajikistan.
In addition to the six Dialogue Partners, the SCO includes four Observer nations (Iran, Mongolia, Belarus, and Afghanistan) (Azerbaijan, Armenia, Cambodia, Nepal, Turkey and Sri Lanka).