Posted by: Administrator | 7 July, 2006

President at SCO States Summit, Shanghai 2006

President Musharraf’s Address at SCO Summit held at Shanghai, China

15 June 2006

Your Excellency, President Hu Jintao, Leaders of the SCO States, Distinguished Secretary General, Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen.

It gives me great pleasure to participate in this important Summit meeting of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization. I bring to you warm greetings and good wishes of the people of Pakistan. I wish to thank President Hu Jintao, the Government and the people of China for the warm hospitality extended to us since our arrival in Shanghai. This year we are celebrating the 55th year of diplomatic relations and close fraternal ties between Pakistan and China. Pakistan greatly values and cherishes this long relationship. This year also happens to be the 5th anniversary of the founding of the SCO. I congratulate the member states and the SCO Secretary General for the remarkable progress achieved in diverse fields in such a short span of time. I take this opportunity to 212 Documents congratulate His Excellency President Hu Jintao for assuming chairmanship of the SCO. I also take the opportunity to express appreciation for the outgoing chairman President Nazarbayev for his able stewardship of the Organization. Last year in Astana, the SCO took an important decision to admit Pakistan as an Observer. It was an acknowledgement of the close friendly ties that exist between Pakistan and the SCO member states. We thank you for that decision and assure you of our strong commitment to the principles and purposes of the SCO.

Excellencies, the Asian economies are, by and large, on a fast growth trajectory, spearheaded notably by China. There is no doubt that given its strong economic, technological, demographic and market fundamentals, the wider Asia- Pacific region will, to a large extent, define the shape of the 21st century. The SCO, along with other regional and sub-regional organizations, must lead the way to promote a framework for trans-Eurasian cooperation. With its rich reserve of expertise and resources it is strategically placed to play this role. Excellencies, at this august forum I wish to affirm Pakistan’s readiness to work closely with the SCO and contribute constructively to the realization of its objectives. Both in geo-political and geo-economic terms, Pakistan is most suitably positioned to promote the interests of the SCO. Pakistan provides the natural link between the SCO states to connect the Eurasian heartland with the Arabian Sea and South Asia. We also offer important overland routes for mutually beneficial trade and energy transactions. While we remain grateful for Pakistan being given the observer status in SCO, I would like to express our keenness towards securing full membership of this Organization. May I mention that Pakistan has strong credentials to substantiate its desire. I say this in relationship and in full knowledge of the Goals and Tasks set out in Article 1. Principles in Article 2 and Areas of Cooperation in Article 3 of the SCO Charter.

In geo-political, geo-strategic and geo-economic terms, Pakistan is most suitably positioned not only to promote but also to play a key role in all interests espoused in the SCO charter. Pakistan provides the natural link between the SCO states to connect the Eurasian heartland with the Arabian Sea and South Asia. We offer critical overland routes and connectivity for mutually beneficial trade and energy transactions intra-regionally and inter-regionally. Pakistan is located at the crossroads of Central Asia, West Asia and South Asia. We are surrounded by regions which have immense natural resources.

We have a vision to develop Pakistan as a hub of economic activity linking the neighbouring regions through our highways, railways and ports thus serving as a trade and energy corridor. Pakistan would strengthen SCOs endeavours towards peace, security and overall harmony in the region. Besides playing a critical role in countering terrorism and extremism, we could also contribute effectively against drug and arms trafficking. I also see our contributory role in the social sector towards promoting education, tourism and cultural exchanges leading to enhanced people to people contact.

While, hopefully examining Pakistan’s case for full membership positively, may I suggest firming up more substantive participation of Observer States in the SCO processes?

Excellencies, SCO represents the hopes and aspirations of a quarter of humanity. It has the potential to emerge as a most potent force of stability in the region. I have no doubt that in the years to come, SCO will make further progress in diverse fields, particularly security and development, in the Eurasian region, Pakistan, Documents 213 with its strong commitment to SCO’s charter, principles and purposes, would spare no effort to promote the objectives espoused by the Organization.

I thank you, ladies and gentlemen!

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