SCO’s expansion to boost peace in the region
IN a significant diplomatic-cum-substantial breakthrough, Pakistan on Fri day signed Memorandum of Obligations with the objective of obtaining the full membership of SCO at its heads of state meeting in Tashkent. Indeed this is a promising development that will not only advance Pakistan’s positive image internationally but also bring tangible political, security and economic dividends.
To understand the true Shanghai spirit, one needs to familiarize with the SCO’s primary objective and operational apparatus. Whilst its declared objectives are to strengthen mutual trust, friendship and good-neighbourly relations among the member states, the prime focus is on economic development and security cooperation. As rightly pointed out by President Mamnoon Hussain while addressing the SCO meeting, the organization provides the genuine security overhang under which Pakistan can better fight the menace of terrorism. There is no denying the fact that Pakistan has paid heavy price in the war on terrorism both in human and economic terms and it is still the number one challenge for the country, and after getting full membership of the SCO, Pakistan will not only be able to share its experiences with the member states but also benefit from their expertise to successfully combat this menace that poses major threat to socio-economic fabric of the whole region. Entry into SCO also entails immense economic benefits as it will help further enhance relations with the Central Asian States and Russia. With plans underway to connect Silk Road Economic Belt with Eurasian Economic Union, role of Pakistan in regional economy and infrastructure projects will definitely increase because the Kashgar-Gwadar project - known as the CPEC - is an important component of the Silk Road belt. In fact, CPEC will bring SCO a step closer to achieving its vision of regional economic integration and promote harmony. Especially in backdrop of recent events particularly agreement of Iran, Afghanistan and India on Chahbahar, there was a growing perception that Pakistan stands isolated, but the SCO membership indeed will greatly serve to offset that perception. Following the launch of CASA 1000 and TAPI projects, this in fact, is yet another step towards Pakistan’s regional integration envisaging immense economic benefits. Furthermore, with India also becoming a full member of SCO, we are confident that this forum will prove to be a useful platform for better interaction between Pakistan and India, and would help promote peace and tranquillity in region.
HURMAT GROUP OF PUBLICATIONS