Islamabad June 7 (TNS): Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif will participate in the 17th Meeting of the Heads of State Council (HoSC) of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) in Astana, Kazakhstan, on June 8-9, the foreign office said on Wednesday. The HoSC is the highest decision-making body of SCO which meets annually. The last Summit was held in Tashkent, Uzbekistan in June 2016.
Pakistan will become a full member of the SCO at Astana. Pakistan has been an Observer with SCO since 2005. Pakistan applied for full membership of the organization in 2010. The decision, in principle, to give membership to Pakistan was taken by the SCO Heads of States meeting held in Ufa, Russia, in 2015.
Pakistan fully subscribes to the Charter of SCO and the “Shanghai Spirit”. As an Observer, we have been actively participating in the activities of the Organization. Pakistan shares with the SCO and its member states, deep-rooted historical and cultural links, as well as strong economic and strategic complementarities. Our interests converge across a wide range of areas. SCO will help us underscore our interest in regional peace, stability and development and our support for regional cooperation against terrorism and extremism.
On the sidelines of the SCO Summit, the Prime Minister will hold a number of bilateral meetings with other participating leaders.
Besides the SCO Summit, Kazakhstan is also hosting the International Expo 2017, in which more than 100 countries including Pakistan are participating. The Prime Minister along with other participating SCO Heads of States will also attend the inaugural ceremony of the Expo.