Zardari calls for Pakistan's full membership in SCO
08 June, 2012
BEIJING: President Asif Ali Zardari on Thursday announced that Pakistan will host an international conference on narcotics and called for full membership of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) to further advance the agenda of peace, security and development, elimination of narcotics, choking funding for militancy, fighting insurgencies and overcoming lack of development of the region.
This he said while addressing the 12th SCO summit in Beijing. Spokesperson to the president Farhatullah Babar said that the president drew attention to the challenges for region arising out of Afghan and Iraq wars, militancy and proliferation of drugs, called for greater collaboration in enhancing regional connectivity through air, rail and road links and building mega energy pipelines straddling across the region.
Pakistan was strategically located to play a critical role in realising goals of the SCO, the president said in his address.
President Zardari said that Pakistan was proud of its association with the SCO and fully subscribed to SCO's ideals and values. Separately, President Zardari and Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad agreed to vigorously pursue the Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline project as well as supply of electricity to Pakistan.
Both presidents met on the sidelines of the SCO summit.
Babar said that the two leaders also agreed to resolve urgently the issue of credit for the Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline so as to complete it expeditiously.
Relevant ministers and officials from both sides will now meet to further take forward the decisions taken in principle.
In his meeting with Chinese President Hu Jintao, Zardari called upon the Joint Energy Working Group of the two countries to find new ways to enhance bilateral cooperation.
He called for greater Chinese investment in infrastructure development, particularly in mega energy projects, and proposed setting up of an energy fund for mega projects, including hydro-power projects. The two leaders discussed the whole gamut of bilateral relations to the recent developments taking place at the regional and international levels. Babar quoted Zardari as saying that Pakistan's ultimate goal was closer economic integration with China.
He called for Chinese investment in trans-regional economic projects, particularly in energy sector, among Pakistan, Afghanistan and China and for raising the bilateral trade target of $15 billion by 2015.
He said that in 2011 bilateral trade between the two countries increased to $10.6 billion from $ 8.6 billion in 2010.