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May 23, 2019

SCO Summit: Root cause of terrorism needs to be addressed, says Qureshi

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May 23, 2019

ISLAMABAD: Condemning terrorism in all its forms, Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi has stressed upon the need for addressing the root cause of the issue. “Pakistan is amongst the few countries which have successfully countered terrorism,” Qureshi said.

Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi said Pakistan wanted to enhance trade with the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) countries and that the organisation serves as an important platform for links amongst the regional countries.

Addressing a meeting at the Council of Foreign Ministers in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, Qureshi said, “SCO is an important source of coordination among member countries.”

The foreign minister also called for collective efforts amongst the SCO member countries to meet the present day challenges and to achieve sustainable development and said Pakistan was determined to implementing the charter of the SCO.

Speaking about Pakistan’s geostrategic location, Qureshi said the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) will help further promote links in the region.

“We [Pakistan] are ready to share our experience and expertise with our SCO friends to deal with terrorism,” he added.

On the subject of Afghanistan, Qureshi said, Pakistan will continue to facilitate the Afghan peace process owned and led by its own people.

He further said conflict resolution is important for peace and stability in the South Asian region. “Shanghai spirit is being reinforced through Kartarpur Corridor. Pakistan has given the message of peace by opening the Kartarpur Corridor for the Sikh community,” Qureshi added.

In an important development, Pakistan and Russia signed an agreement that they will not in any way be the first to place weapons of any kind in outer space.

Both will also make all possible efforts to prevent outer space from becoming an arena for military confrontation and to ensure security in outer space activities.

In a joint statement signed on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) in Bishkek, both countries say that there is an urgent need to address gaps in the international legal regime governing the exploration and use of outer space with a view to ensuring that no one threatens peaceful activities and applications of space technologies for socio-economic development.

“Outer space is being used by an increasing number of states. Pakistan has been consistently highlighting the risks of weaponisation of outer space, which threatens the long-term sustainability of peaceful space activities. The use of force against space based objects, the development and deployment of Anti-Ballistic Missile (ABM) systems and their integration into space assets have added worrying dimensions to the issues relating to outer space,” the Foreign Office noted.

The Russian Federation and the Islamic Republic of Pakistan call upon space-faring nations to follow their example, says the joint statement signed by Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi and Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.

Pakistan and Russia share a common position on the prevention of arms race in outer space and work collectively in various international fora towards that goal. The signing of today’s joint statement on No First Placement of Weapons in Outer Space is a reflection of convergence of views between the two sides.

“Pakistan and Russia have reiterated their commitment to refrain from the threat or use of force in outer space activities. We encourage other responsible space-faring nations to follow this example,” says the Foreign Office.

Both countries point to the significance of outer space activities as an important factor of social, economic, scientific and technological development of states, as well as their role in maintaining national and global security.

They believe that outer space should be used in compliance with international law for the benefit of all nations, regardless of the level of their economic, scientific or technological development.

While reiterating their commitment to the principle enshrined in Article 2 of the United Nations Charter – to refrain in international relations from the threat or use of force, including in outer space activities – and proceed from the assumption that all states will strictly adhere to that policy.

The joint statement further pointed out that there is emphasis on the fact that the achievement of an international treaty preventing the arms race in outer space as well as banning the placement or use of weapons therein is a priority for the international community.

Meanwhile, speaking at the SCO Council of Foreign Ministers meeting, Qureshi emphasised the fact that this was an important platform for the “creation of linkages between countries in the region”.

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