TASHKENT (APP) – President Mamnoon Hussain on Friday said that becoming a full member of Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) would enable Pakistan to better fight against terrorism, which he termed the country’s single greatest challenge in recent times.

“We believe that the SCO provides the right security overhang under which we can fight this menace,” the President said in his address at the 16th Council of Heads of State of Shanghai Cooperation Organization, held in the Uzbek capital.

Russian President Vladimir Putin, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Afghanistan’s President Ashraf Ghani, Uzbekistan’s President Islam Karimov, Tajikistan’s President Emomali Rahmon, Turkmenistan’s President Gurbanguly Berdymuhamedov, Kazakhstan’s President Nursultan Nazarbayov and Kyrgyzstan President Almazbeg Atambayev attended the session.

The representatives of Iran, Belarus and Mongolia were also present.

President Mamnoon Hussain, who addressed the forum in Urdu, Pakistan’s national language, said that the country’s aim of curbing extremism and enhancing border security was in line with the objectives of SCO.

“Pakistan understand better than any other country that terrorism poses the greatest challenge to our vision of common prosperity,” he opined.

The President said the ongoing comprehensive and all out law enforcement action Zarb e Azb was against all terrorists groups without discrimination.

“I am happy to inform you that we [have] turned the corner and achieved phenomenal success. The backbone of the terrorists has been broken and their main infrastructure has been dismantled,” he told the SCO leaders.

President Mamnoon said Pakistan firmly believed that the path to regional peace and stability lied in economic connectivity and development and noted that the country had offered important overland routes and connectivity options to enhance trade and energy security within the region and beyond.

In this context, he added that the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), whose implementation was now in full swing, would serve as the natural link between SCO states and the Arabian Sea and South Asia.

He said the CPEC would bring the SCO a step closer to achieving its vision of regional economic integration. He added that the mega-project would also strengthen the SCO’s endeavors in promoting peace, security, and harmony in the region.

President Mamnoon said Pakistan was committed to taking its engagement with SCO to the next level and counted on active participation in the Organization s activities.

“Today is a significant moment for SCO and Pakistan,” he said.

He said that the SCO provided a useful forum to Pakistan in promoting peace and stability in South Asia, including Afghanistan, and termed regional stability the key to economic progress of nations.

“Peace in Afghanistan is crucial to regional connectivity and trade cooperation,” he added.