Pakistan to gain SCO membership next week, says foreign office

Islamabad:Pakistan will become a formal member of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) next week, a foreign office statement said on Thursday. The Shanghai Cooperation Organisation is scheduled to hold a summit on June 23 and 24 in Tashkent, Uzbekistan, that will pave the way for opening new avenues for Pakistan to secure funds for energy and other infrastructure projects. The process of granting Pakistan the full membership of SCO got underway in July 2015 during Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s visit to Ufa, Russia, for a summit. It outlined the organisation’s status as an important and effective multilateral forum that discusses actual problems of international policy, economy, regional stability and security. These four elements have been very important in stimulating investment. SCO was founded in Shanghai on June 15, 2001, by six countries -- China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. Afghanistan, India, Iran, Mongolia and Pakistan have been accorded observer status. A full SCO membership will help Pakistan strengthen its role in regional and global politics, economies and infrastructure by promoting regional connectivity through the One Belt One Road and Eurasian Economic Union projects, the statement stated.