“Pakistan is well placed for facilitating the SCO members in improving the regional connectivity. The Central Asia countries are land-locked and Pakistan is ideally located to provide shorter sea access to these countries. This will facilitate the trade among SCO member states and even beyond. The transport corridors stand to benefit all the member states, leading to win-win cooperation. SCO is a multi-dimensional organization in terms of its scope and functioning and Pakistan can benefit greatly from it,” said H.E. Mr. Zhang Ming while he was delivering a speech at the Institute of Strategic Studies Islamabad (ISSI) during his four-day visit to Pakistan. The talk was organized by China-Pakistan Study Center at ISSI.
Secretary General SCO, Mr. Zhang Ming talked about the structure, functions, and history of the SCO in detail. While shedding light on the difference among the member states, he mentioned that the organization was established on the guiding principles of the Shanghai Spirit. Although it started as a regional security organization, it expanded its functioning later to the economy, politics, and people-to-people contacts. The SCO is expanding. It started with the inclusion of Pakistan and India as its permanent members. Iran applied for full membership and, after fulfilling the criteria of the membership, it will be granted permanent member status eventually. He informed the audience that, now, the SCO family comprises twenty-one members.
China is an important member country of SCO. Since its inception, it has been contributing to enhancing cooperation among the member states, particularly in the area of economic development. However, he particularly emphasized that SCO functions upon consensus-based principle, hence equally empowering all the members.
He said that SCO was established twenty years ago when the context and the needs of the time were different. Now, many geopolitical and geo-economic changes are taking place in the international arena. Therefore, SCO should adapt accordingly for its functional efficiency.
Earlier, in his welcome remarks, Dr. Talat Shabbir, Director China-Pakistan Study Center (CPSC) welcome the esteemed guest and gave a brief introduction of ISSI vision, functions, and its five centers of excellence. In his remarks, he highlighted the major features of SCO, its achievements, the challenges that it is facing, and Pakistan’s contributions to it. He was optimistic about the prospects of cooperation among the SCO member states. He also informed the audience how CPSC at ISSI has been contributing to research and analyses in the field of SCO studies.
At the end, Ambassador Khalid Mahmood , Chairman BoG ISSI, presented ISSI memento to Mr. Zhang Ming.
The event was attended by academics, diplomatic community, students, and media.