Pakistan President to attend SCO summit in Tashken

Islamabad:President Mamnoon Hussain will lead Pakistan's delegation to the meeting of the Head of States Council of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) in Tashkent on June 23-24. According to Pakistan's Foreign Office, the president will also hold important bilateral meetings on the sidelines of the SCO Summit. SCO is an important organisation founded in Shanghai in 2001 with China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan as member-states. The SCO Heads of States Council is the highest decision-making body of the Organisation. Pakistan was invited to start the process of becoming full SCO member at the Heads of State Council meeting held in Ufa, Russia, in July 2015. Pakistan is expected to sign the "Memorandum of Obligations" at the Tashkent summit, which will be major step towards becoming a full member of the SCO.  The SCO comprises six Member States, five Observers and three Dialogue Partners. Pakistan became an Observer in SCO in 2005 and was the first country to apply for full membership in 2010.  India and Iran, together with Pakistan, were accorded observer status in 2005. The SCO aims at strengthening friendly relations among states, maintenance of peace, stability and security in the region, building a new, just and rational international political and economic order, joint efforts in combating terrorism, extremism, separatism and the menace of narcotic substances.