We condemn terrorism including state terrorism against people under illegal occupation: Imran Khan at SCO Summit

Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan on Friday, while addressing a meeting of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) summit, said that Pakistan condemns terrorism in all forms including state terrorism against people under illegal occupation.

“We are among the few countries to have successfully turned the tide against terrorism,” PM Imran stated, adding: “Pakistan remains ready to share its experience and expertise in counter-terrorism. We will also remain actively engaged in SCO’s counter-terrorism initiatives.”

The Pakistan premier said that there were threats from terrorism to climate change to narcotics to bacterial resistance. Additionally, he said there were increasing barriers to open trade and innovation as well as growing intolerance and Islamaphobia, which were “threatening to accentuate religious fault-lines”.

Imran said the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), which he noted was “the flagship project of President Xi’s far-sighted Belt and Road Initiative”, is fast reaching fruition.

“Gwadar Port, at its southern end, marks the only point of convergence of the maritime Belt and the overland Road.”

“In time, CPEC is destined to catalyse the creation of an integrated pan-Asian sphere of shared prosperity,” he added.

Prime Minister Imran said that the world was seeing the “advent of a multi-polar global order” for the first time in ages.

“Epicentres of economic power and growth momentum are shifting eastwards,” he said, adding: “Regional integration is speeding up. Disruptive technologies are maturing.”

While sharing that Pakistan fully supports efforts for peace and reconcliation in Afghanistan through an Afghan-led and Afghan-owned process, he said that there was “finally a realisation” that there was no military solution to the conflict in Afghanistan.

“SCO’s support for post-conflict Afghanistan will remain crucial,” he said while appreciating the contributions being made by China, Russia and Afghanistan’s immediate neighbours to the process.

Prime Minister Imran noted that South Asia continued to be challenged by “common enemies” of poverty, illiteracy, disease and under-development.

“Political differences and unresolved disputes further compound the predicament,” he said.

“Enduring peace and prosperity in South Asia will remain elusive until the main dynamic in South Asia is shifted from confrontation to cooperation.”

“It is important to seize the opportunities for peaceful resolution of outstanding disputes and collective endeavours for regional prosperity.”

The premier joined the SCO members in urging all parties in the evolving situation in the Gulf and the Middle East to “exercise restraint, take steps to de-escalate the situation and find solutions through diplomatic means”.

“We believe implementation of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action by all parties is essential for international and regional stability.”

Prime Minister Imran presented an eight-pronged course of action:

  1. Reinforce our vision of cooperation, that rejects confrontation, and advance the imperatives of peaceful co-existence at the regional and international levels. 
  2. Galvanise the “Shanghai Spirit” to strengthen SCO’s core mandate of mitigating the risks of conflict, fostering confidence, and promoting stability.
  3. Finalise arrangements for trade in local currencies, and set up SCO Fund and SCO Development Bank to catalyse the trans-regional development agenda.
  4. Synergise the various region-wide connectivity initiatives, and work on complementing infrastructure connectivity with soft connectivity, including digital, cultural, touristic, and academic. “I propose setting up SCO Culture & Tourism Corridors, clustering multiple SCO destinations into a single package,” he said.
  5. Make SCO more relevant to the daily lives of citizens by promoting food security and enhancing cooperation in health and humanitarian sectors.
  6. Take the lead role in establishing a comprehensive framework for combating corruption and white-collar crime.
  7. Prioritise women and youth empowerment by focusing inter-alia on strengthening the Women Forum and the Youth Council and mandating them to promote gender mainstreaming, skills acquisition and jobs mobility.
  8. Bridge the gap between region-specific research and policy by launching feasibilities for creating SCO Centres of Excellence on Poverty Alleviation, De-Radicalisation, Connectivity, and New Technologies. (Dawn)

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