ASTANA – On Friday Pakistan became a full member of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation, in what appears to be a considerable victory in times of diplomatic turmoil.

Pakistan was awarded the membership at the Astana summit in Kazakhstan where scores of world leaders including Indian Premier Narendra Modi gathered.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif felicitated India which also became a full member of  Shanghai Cooperation Organisation.

After the SCO membership, Pakistan will be capable of getting regional cooperation to effectively deal with terrorism and extremism.

“The SCO goals resonate with Pakistan’s national ethos, and so do the core values of the Shanghai spirit and the SCO charter with our own quest the for peaceful neighbourhood,” PM Nawaz said at the summit.

The premier welcomed a proposal made by Chinese President Xi Jinping on a five-year treaty for good neighbourliness among SCO members.

“As leaders, we should leave a legacy of peace and amity for our future generations, not a toxic harvest of conflict and animosity. Instead of talking about counter-weights and containment, let us create shared spaces for all,” PM Nawaz urged SCO heads of state.

He continued that in the coming decades, the SCO, which has emerged as a ‘sheet anchor’ for regional stability would serve as a strong link between Asia Pacific, East Asia, West Asia and the Atlantic region.

“It is destined to become a cornerstone of global politics and economics, with economics gaining primacy,” PM Nawaz observed.

“The SCO gives us a powerful platform for partnerships to promote peace, build trust and spur economic development for shared prosperity.”

“Moreover, it helps us all combat terrorism, reduce arms race, eliminate poverty… deal with natural disasters, tackle climate change and assure water security,” he added.

Nawaz Sharif said that expansion of the SCO had taken place at an ‘opportune time’, as China’s ‘One Belt, One Road’ (OBOR) initiative has transformed the global economic landscape.

“In Pakistan, we are diligently implementing the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, which is a flag of the OBOR,” the PM said and inquired: “What is more, these megaprojects will benefit the entire SCO community.”

Pakistan, which has been an observer at the SCO since 2005, applied for a permanent membership in 2010. The decision to grant Pakistan membership was made by the SCO Heads of States in a meeting held in Ufa, Russia, in 2015, Dawn News reported.

The SCO is founded in 2001 and it comprises six member states, mainly focusing on military cooperation between the members which involves intelligence sharing and counter-terrorism operations in Central Asia.

Pakistan and India ─ who until now had been observers ─ have become the first nations to be inducted as members since the formation of the organisation.

Meeting With UN Secretary General

Earlier, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif met with United National Secretary General António Guterres on the sidelines of Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) summit in Astana, Kazakhstan.

During the meeting, both high-ups discussed the security situation of the region, besides having discussion regarding full membership of the SCO.

Kazakh and Uzbek Presidents

On Thursday, Nawaz Sharif met with President of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev and Uzbek President Shavkat Mirziyoyev.

 The PM reiterated Pakistan’s strong commitment to cooperate with both countries in the energy sector, regional connectivity and human resource development.