Islamabad - The Shanghai Cooperation Organisation’s Council of Foreign Ministers, Thursday, unanimously adopted Pakistan's proposal to set up a Center of Excellence in Islamabad and a Joint Working Group on Poverty Alleviation.

At the conclusion of the SCO meeting in Moscow, Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi said that the corona pandemic still existed and to deal with it, we should formulate a common strategy. 

He said that the SCO countries appreciated the role of China for providing technical assistance during the pandemic and congratulated Russia for making a vaccine for coronavirus.

He said it was agreed that the vaccine should be used for the public good, keeping away the commercial interests. 

Qureshi said the forum emphasized that the role of United Nations should be central at the global as well as regional level. Presenting Pakistan's viewpoint, Shah Mehmood Qureshi said if member state consider the role of the United Nations, then its resolutions should be fully respected.

Speaking at the SCO meeting, FM Qureshi urged the SCO members to work together to address resurgence of fascist ideologies and violent nationalism anywhere in the world and especially in the region.

He said those perpetrating state terrorism against people under illegal occupation in disputed territories must be condemned and held accountable.

Pakistan supports efforts for Afghan-led, Afghan-owned peace process

The Foreign Minister stressed that peaceful resolution of disputes was a prerequisite for development, economic growth, poverty alleviation and social uplift of the masses. We strongly emphasize importance of implementing UN Security Council Resolutions, he said.

He said: “We must affirm that extremist as well as xenophobic ideologies, including Islamophobia, have no place in today's world.”

The Foreign Minister said that Pakistan had assiduously supported the efforts for peace and reconciliation process that was Afghan-led and Afghan-owned.

He said the Afghan stakeholders must now seize this historic opportunity and work together to secure an inclusive, broad-based and comprehensive political settlement. It is critical that the Intra-Afghan negotiations commence at the earliest.

Qureshi said it was also imperative to be cognizant of the role of spoilers within and outside who did not want peace and stability to return to Afghanistan.

He said the return of Afghan refugees to their homeland with dignity and honour should be an essential part of the peace negotiations. We look forward to consultations in the SCO-Afghan Contact Group to further facilitate the Afghan peace and reconciliation process.

The Foreign Minister said the SCO should focus on promoting regional connectivity projects. 

Qureshi said the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor was to bring economic prosperity for Pakistan, the region and beyond. “In particular, Special Economic Zones offer excellent investment incentives,” he said.

He said the regional countries must pool their scientific and technical resources to carry out joint research in diverse fields, foremost with an objective to find an effective vaccine for the COVID-19 virus and make it accessible to all. Pakistan is open to share its experience in combating pandemic in an effective manner keeping the total cases and fatalities relatively low, he said.