Published: Thu, June 15, 2017
World Media | By Shelia Harmon

Majlis Podcast: How Significant Is The Shanghai Cooperation Organization?

Sartaj expressed the hope that Pakistan enjoyed multi-dimensional ties with SCO countries and after becoming its full member, the opportunities in the realm of multilateral cooperation, land and connectivity and trade activities would get a spur.

While Modi during his speech has specifically stressed on the need of a united approach to combat terrorism, Modi said, "it was impossible to reach a solution till all countries made concerted efforts to fight radicalization, terrorist recruitment, training and financing". This is the first expansion since the Shanghai Five became SCO with the induction of Uzbekistan in 2001.

Mr Modi's other focus was on connectivity where he touched upon the concern that territorial sovereignty and integrity should be maintained while building greater connectivity.

The prime minister, during his stay in Astana, participated in 17th meeting of the Heads of State Council of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO). Advisor on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz and Minister for Commerce Khurram Dastgir were also present at the meeting.

Speaking after Modi, Pakistani PM Nawaz Sharif also congratulated India on joining SCO and said that the organisation gives a shared platform to fight terrorism.

Considering the symbolic value for embattled Pakistani Prime Minister Sharif, who held bilateral meetings with Russian President Vladimir Putin and Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, the absence of a meeting with the Chinese leader was all the more glaring.

What lent significance to Xi's decision was his meeting with Indian PM Narendra Modi on the sidelines of the summit.

The two Chinese nationals were kidnapped last month from Quetta in Balochistan and were later brutally murdered by alleged Islamic State (IS) militants. India, one of the largest energy consuming countries in the world, is also likely to get greater access to major gas and oil exploration projects in Central Asia as numerous SCO countries have huge reserves of oil and natural gas.

Pakistan was diligently implementing China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC ), a flagship of One belt One Road initiative, he said, adding it would be beneficial for the entire SCO members.

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