PM cautions against politicization of development projects

SOCHI Russia: Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi Friday stressed upon the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SC) member countries to fully harness the true potential they possessed, owing to vast connectivity and economic prospects and cautioned against the politicization of economic development and connectivity projects as such a myopic approach would only hold back the collective progress.

“Today, we are witnessing a historic opportunity for the SCO to truly have a trans-continental reach.  In the coming decades, it would emerge as an important global geopolitical and geo-economic force. Let us harness the SCO’s potential and competencies for our mutual advantage. We stand ready to contribute to this collective endeavour.

In a statement in the meeting of the SCO Council of Heads of Government, the prime minister said after becoming a full member of the SCO, Pakistan was all set to bring more vitality in the organization as it possessed tremendous potential forglobal, regional trade and economic activities.    He said the SCO held tremendous potential for connectivity, trade, energy and economic development. It could lead to progress and prosperity of the entire region.

“With a consumer market of over 200 million people, vast business potential and a rapidly modernizing infrastructure, Pakistan offers the SCO enormous opportunities for mutually beneficial cooperation. Pakistan’s deep historical and cultural ties, as well as strong economic and strategic links with the SCO members, can act as an enabler in realizing the SCO’s vision,” he added.

The prime minister said trade and economic cooperation held the key to the SCO region’s long-term stability, progress and prosperity.

The China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), which is the pioneering project of the Belt and Road Initiative, complements the SCO’s vision of connectivity and economic integration, he added.

He said that Pakistan wanted to see the CPEC connected to the six main trade corridors of the SCO as it would help fulfill the long cherished aspiration for land and maritime connectivity between Europe, Central Asia, China and South Asia. Pakistan, he added, was also pursuing projects such as CASA 1000 and TAPI Pipeline Project to promote regional energy connectivity.

Prime Minister Abbasi said the world was going through a profound transformation marked by eastward shift of the global development potential.

Coinciding with this change, he said, the SCO was creating a new imprint on the global international order. “The “Shanghai Spirit” – as enshrined in the SCO Charter and the Treaty on long-term neighborliness, friendship and cooperation –  is our guiding principle. It can help promote our shared vision of mutual trust, mutual benefit, equality, respect for cultural diversity and the pursuit of common development,” he added.

He said the SCO should continue to contribute towards building a just and rational world order based on the UN Charter principles of respect for international law and non-interference in each other’s internal affairs. – APP

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