Minister for Information and Broadcasting Qamar Zaman Kaira said on Monday that regular membership of Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) would be helpful for Pakistan to combat terrorism more effectively. The Minister said this while talking to media at Benazir Bhutto International Airport before his departure for Bishkek to attend SCO conference to be held December 4-5 in the Capital of Kyrgyzstan. The minister said Pakistan has given unmatched sacrifices in war against terrorism to make secure the whole world. He said international community has acknowledged the sacrifices rendered by the Pakistan.

He said during the conference he would stress that Pakistan should be given permanent membership of the SCO in view of the forum’s importance in economic cooperation and maintaining regional security.

The Minister said that Pakistan would also like to benefit from the expertise of the SCO member countries in taking measures against terrorism and extremism.

Kaira said Pakistan, being an observer, has been an active participant in the activities of the organization which is quite evident from being the first to apply for the full membership of SCO.

He said Pakistan has supported all initiatives of SCO at all international fora as its believed that the forum can play an important role to eliminate terrorism and poverty from the region.

He said China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan are regular members while Pakistan and India have observer status.

Kaira said initially it was planned that Prime Minister would attend the conference but due to his important engagements he was assigned the task to represent Pakistan at this important forum.

It would be the 11th Heads of Government Council Meeting. Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) is an inter-governmental organization which has now evolved into a multi faceted organization working for regional economic cooperation against terrorism, separatism, drug trafficking and organized crime.

The Minister hoped that Pakistan’s presence in the SCO Heads of Government Council Meeting will contribute and strengthen the SCO’s endeavors for the promotion of peace, security and overall harmony in the region.

Kaira said main purpose of SCO is to  strengthen mutual trust and good-neighborliness and friendship among member states; developing effective cooperation in political affairs, economy, trade, science and technology, culture, education, energy, transportation, environmental protection and other fields; working together to maintain regional peace, security and stability; and promoting the creation of a new international political and economic order featuring democracy, justice and rationality.