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Regional connectivity: PM offers connecting CPEC with six routes of SCO

BY IFTIKHAR MASHWANI

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi on Tuesday offered to connect China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) with six approved routes of Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) to enhance region’s connectivity.

This would become a conduit linking Eurasian landmass, China, Russia and Central Asia with the Arabian Sea, the Prime Minister said in his meeting with Secretary General of SCO Rashid Alimov here at the PM Office.

This is the first visit of SCO Secretary General after attainment of Pakistan’s full membership of SCO.

The Prime Minister expressed support for various SCO’s initiatives including establishment of SCO Development Bank, SCO Development Fund, SCO Business Council, SCO Interbank Consortium and it’s Small and Medium Enterprises.

He thanked Secretary General for his support in steering the process of Pakistan’s membership of SCO and reiterated Pakistan’s commitment towards “Shanghai Spirit” of mutual trust, mutual benefit, equality, respect for cultural diversity and pursuit of common development.

He said Pakistan shared with SCO and its members, deep-rooted historical and cultural links and strong economic and strategic complementarity.

Highlighting Pakistan’s active participation in all the SCO activities, the Prime Minister appreciated that SCO had established itself as a significant and influential player in the international arena by leveraging its comparative advantages.

The Prime Minister said SCO’s unique and pragmatic portfolio of economic, trade, development, security and counter-terrorism cooperation distinguished it from other international organizations.

He expressed support for the SCO Regional Anti-Terrorism Structure (RATS) and reiterated Pakistan’s strong opposition to the evils of terrorism, extremism and separatism.

The Secretary General appreciated Pakistan’s active participation in all SCO activities and said the the inclusion of new members like Pakistan had greatly strengthened SCO as a true cross-regional and cross-continental organization playing a multifaceted role in the world politics.

He said SCO could enormously benefit from Pakistan’s experience in successful combating of the menace of terrorism, narcotics and drugs as well as its economic strengths and connectivity potentials.

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