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Thursday July 25, 2024

SCO role stressed in promoting cooperation among members

By Rasheed Khalid
June 24, 2024
Dr Syed Hussain Shaheed Soherwordi addresses an event. —  University of Peshawar/File
Dr Syed Hussain Shaheed Soherwordi addresses an event. —  University of Peshawar/File

Islamabad: Dr Syed Hussain Shaheed Soherwordi, University of Peshawar, citing the recent Gaza and Ukraine conflicts as examples has said that security and economics in global affairs are interconnected.

Dr Soherwordi was addressing a roundtable discussion on “Astana Summit 2024: solidifying SCO’s partnerships” held here at Institute of Strategic Studies (ISS). Prof Soherwordi proposed key measures including diversifying regional ties, establishing mutual non-aggression agreements among powers and jointly combating terrorism to ensure regional stability and resilience against foreign intervention. His emphasised the urgent need for collective action to safeguard the region's economic and security interests.

Yerzhan Kistafin, Ambassador of Republic of Kazakhstan, highlighted Kazakhstan's role in the SCO's development, emphasising its contributions to regional stability through robust counterterrorism mechanisms and economic cooperation. He underscored Kazakhstan's commitment to fostering deep ties with SCO countries, promoting global peace and enhancing regional connectivity. Additionally, he discussed bilateral efforts with Pakistan in geopolitical dimensions, digital development, economic collaboration and connectivity, affirming a shared vision for peace, prosperity and environmental security in the region.

Babar Amin, Pakistan’s first National Coordinator of Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), stressed the significant role of cooperation within SCO member states, emphasising also the importance of people-to-people connections and media engagement. He highlighted SCO's evolving visibility and potential for enhancing development dynamics, suggesting it could surpass BRICS in certain aspects. Addressing challenges such as terrorism and security, he stressed the imperative of collaborative efforts to foster connectivity and mitigate obstacles including the involvement of groups like TTP.

Dr Marghoob Saleem Butt, Pakistan’s National Coordinator for SCO, underscored the significant contributions of the SCO in various domains including food security, climate change, and counter-terrorism. He emphasised the expanding scope of cooperation within the SCO, highlighting initiatives such as joint border operations and enhanced cyber cooperation. He also outlined Pakistan's priorities during its chairmanship, focusing on connectivity, poverty alleviation and youth empowerment through digital initiatives. He said that Pakistan would be hosting the meeting of SCO Ministers of Trade/Commerce in September and the Council of Heads of Government in October.

Sohail Mahmood, Director-General, ISS, stre­ssed the significance of the upcoming Astana Summit within the SCO framework, underscoring SCO's role as a pivotal trans-regional platform committed to stability, economic development and cooperative multilateralism. Emphasising SCO's expansive reach covering 60% of Eurasia, encompassing 40% of the global population and a significant portion of the world's GDP, he underscored its evolution into a vital platform for stability and multilateral cooperation.