ISLAMABAD   -  Prime Minister Imran Khan will be visiting Bishkek, Kyrgyz Republic, today (June 13) to attend the 19th Meeting of the Council of the Heads of State of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation, the foreign ministry said.

The PM will be in Bishkek on June 13 and 14. Besides Pakistan, SCO’s membership comprises China, Russia, India, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.  SCO Observers include Afghanistan, Iran, Belarus and Mongolia.

The Council of Heads of State is the highest forum of SCO which considers and defines strategy, prospects and priorities of the Organisation, a foreign ministry statement said. The invitation to the Prime Minister was extended by Kyrgyz President Sooronbay Jeenbekov, who will chair the CHS meeting. The Leaders of SCO Member and Observer States as well as representatives of important International Organizations will attend the meeting. The Prime Minister will address two sessions of the meeting. A number of decisions will be approved by the leaders, besides signing of agreements to intensify cooperation in diverse fields. The Prime Minister will have bilateral interaction with other participating leaders on the sidelines.

SCO is among the major trans-regional organizations. Pakistan shares deep rooted historical and cultural links with SCO Member States. SCO’s multi-sectoral cooperation agenda is in line with the Government of Pakistan’s policy of promoting regional peace and stability and seeking enhanced linkages in infrastructure, economic, trade and cultural spheres. Pakistan offers critical overland route for trade and energy and supports SCO’s efforts for regional integration through linking China-Pakistan Economic Corridor with the 6 land routes of SCO.

Since becoming an SCO member in 2017, Pakistan has been actively participating at all levels in various SCO mechanisms including Foreign Affairs, Defence, National Security, Economy and Trade, Education and Healthcare, S&T and Innovation, Youth and Women Empowerment, Justice, Agriculture, Culture& Sports, Tourism and Media.  Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi had attended the SCO Council of Foreign Ministers Meeting in Bishkek on 21-22 May 2019. The CFM considered and finalized the documents and decisions to be signed by the SCO Leaders during the CHS meeting.