Sep 17, 2021, 5:00 PM
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PM Imran Khan congratulates Iran on SCO full membership

Islamabad, IRNA -- Prime Minister of Pakistan congratulated President Ayatollah Ebrahim Raisi as the Islamic Republic of Iran has been accepted as a permanent member of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) in Dushanbe.

A PM House statement said Imran Khan on Friday welcomed Iran’s permanent membership in the organization during a speech at the 20th SCO Summit hosted by Tajikistan.

The Prime Minister of Pakistan, whose country supports Iran's membership to the SCO, while addressing the President of the Islamic Republic of Iran said, "I take the opportunity to congratulate my brother President Raisi as Iran embarks upon the process of admission to SCO as full member."

"The SCO has done well in meeting old and new challenges, but the growing complexity of the global environment and geopolitical tensions will be a test of our resolve in the future," he said the speech.

Imran Khan said we must resist any drift towards bloc politics and stress that peaceful coexistence and cooperation – not confrontation – should be the main drivers of global politics.

He said the COVID-19 pandemic afflicted the world in unprecedented ways. We, in Pakistan, adopted a calibrated strategy of ‘smart lockdowns’ – with simultaneous focus on saving lives, securing livelihoods, and stimulating the economy.

“I also launched a ‘Global Initiative for Debt Relief’ to help create fiscal space for the developing countries to mitigate the negative effects of the pandemic and achieve sustainable development,” he said.

He added the vaccine should also be available to everyone on an equitable basis and as a global public good.

PM Imran said that climate change is another existential threat that our planet faces and addressing climate change is, therefore, a key priority of my government.

“We have taken a number of flagship initiatives to mitigate its adverse impacts, including the 10 Billion Tree Tsunami project,” he said.

He added we are also committed to shifting our energy mix towards a clean and low carbon trajectory and are targeting 60 percent of our energy to be clean by 2030.

The Prime Minister said as the world marked the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, we were all reminded that despite international community’s earnest efforts, the threats posed by terrorism still persist.

“Associating one religion with terrorism has enabled far-right, populist and supremacist groups around the world to propagate, multiply and accumulate influence,” he noted.

He said for decades, Pakistan has suffered from terrorism that was planned, supported, financed and orchestrated by state entities from across our border.

“Yet, our resolve remains strong. We will continue to be a reliable and willing partner of the international community in the fight against terrorism and extremism,” he said.

The PM said we believe faithfully implementing UN Security Council resolutions for peaceful settlement of outstanding disputes is a necessary condition for peace and indispensable for creating an environment of cooperation.

“Unilateral and illegal measures to change the status of disputed territories in violation of Security Council resolutions run counter to this objective,” he said.

Imran Khan said most significantly, Afghanistan is, rightfully, the focus of our attention in view of the recent developments.

The sudden change of the previous government which surprised everyone, the takeover by the Taliban, and the full withdrawal of foreign forces, have established a new reality in Afghanistan.

He said that all this happened without bloodshed, without civil war, and without mass exodus of refugees should be a matter of relief.

It is now in the international community’s collective interest to ensure that there is no renewed conflict in Afghanistan and the security situation is stabilized.

“This is a moment to stand by the Afghan people, firmly and unequivocally,” said the prime minister of Pakistan.

He said apart from helping in the international evacuation efforts, Pakistan has extended all possible support in the provision and facilitation of humanitarian relief.

“Going forward, we believe positive engagement of the international community with Afghanistan is extremely important,” he said.

He said that there is a rare opportunity to finally end the 40 years of war in Afghanistan; this moment should not be squandered. 

“For their part, the Taliban must fulfill the pledges made above all for inclusive political structure where all ethnic groups are represented. This is vital for Afghanistan’s stability. Also, it is important to ensure respect for the rights of all Afghans, and ensure that Afghanistan is never again a safe haven for terrorists,” he said.

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