Regional experts stress need of people to people contact among SCO member states

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan: Regional experts have stressed need of people to people contact among Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) member states and believe that connectivity among SCO states can not bring fruits unless people to people contact is not given priority, reports DND News Agency from Islamabad.

These observations surfaced in a Roundtable which was attended by the Heads of the Think Tanks/Representatives of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) Member and Observer States including China, Kyrgyz Republic, Russia, Uzbekistan, Belarus and Iran.

It is pertinent to mention that Center for Global & Strategic Studies (CGSS) organized  Roundtable Session on “Shanghai Cooperation Organization; Future Prospects and Regional Connectivity” here on Wednesday in connection with SCO conference which held on Tuesday.

The following foreign delegates participated in the Roundtable Session;

  • Professor Sun Zhuangzhi – Secretary General of Center for Shanghai Cooperation Organization Study, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, Beijing, China,
  • Leonid Gusev – Expert, Moscow State Institute of International Relations, Moscow, Russia
  • Bakhtiyor Mustafayev – Head of the Institute for Strategic and Regional Studies (ISRS) under the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan, Tashkent, Uzbekistan
  • Seitzhan Apyshev, Adviser to Director, National Institute for Strategic Studies of the Kyrgyz Republic (NISS KR), Bishkek, Kyrgyz Republic
  • Professor Elena Dostanko – Head, Academic Affairs Unit, Belarusian State University, Minsk, Belarus
  • Seyed Majid Ghafelehbashi – Senior Research Fellow, Institute of Political and International Studies (IPIS), Tehran, Iran

The Roundtable Session commenced with the opening remarks by the President CGSS Major General (retd) Syed Khalid Amir Jaffery who welcomed and thanked the worthy participants of the Session.

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The Director General SCO at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Islamabad Naveed Safdar Bokhari stated that SCO is a pivotal organization to promote closer ties. Diverse nature of cooperation exists within SCO. Pakistan has a lot to offer to the SCO region.

The visiting foreign dignitaries provided with their valuable input to the participants of the Session.

The agenda points of the discussion were promotion of regional connectivity in terms of cooperation in trade, commerce and development initiatives, promotion of art and culture among the members of SCO, enhancement of tourism, people to people contact among the SCO region and Pakistan as the successful model in the fight against terrorism.

The foreign dignitaries appreciated the efforts of Pakistan in the peace, stability and progress of the region, and vowed to further enhance bilateral and multilateral cooperation through initiatives in various fields.

During the Session, several presentations/briefings were given to the visiting foreign dignitaries.

The Senior Research Fellow at the Center of Excellence China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) Dr. Ahsan Abbas presented his views on the trade, industry cooperation and regional connectivity.

The Deputy Secretary at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Ms. Hina Gul stated that Pakistan has signed two trade agreements through the platform of SCO including trade services and trade facilitation. Currently, we are working with China and Russia under these agreements in various sectors including health, IT, tourism and education.

The President All Pakistan Business Forum Mr. Maaz Mahmoood briefed the participants about exploring new avenues through Shanghai Cooperation Organization.

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The former President Rawalpindi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (RCCI) Mr. Zahid Latif stated that Pakistan has improved its position by climbing up 11 places in ease of doing business. Pakistan improved its position on starting a business by 12 notches and gained 130th position out of 190 nations.

The Chief Editor Dispatch News Desk (DND) News Agency Agha Iqrar Haroon in his presentation about “Cultural Linkages among SCO States” said that the DND news agency since last seven years has been promoting cultures of central Asian and Eastern European countries through Russian and English news, articles and opinions while the DND online Russian Radio promotes music of Eurasian Countries in Pakistan and Pakistani music in other Countries.

Chief Editor Dispatch News Desk (DND) News Agency Agha Iqrar Haroon

Agha Iqrar Haroon added that Uzbekistan played a pivotal role to promote Pakistani dramas in Uzbekistan state-run television and Pakistan should also reciprocate and should promote art and culture of SCO State Countries through Pakistani media.

The former Secretary Information Ashfaq Gondal was of the view that there is lack of media coordination among SCO States. He said the organization must not depend on such media outlets which belong to non-SCO members. He said that there is a dire need of establishing SCO media networking.

Ashfaq Gondal said that China is a part of the SCO but other Countries are members of the SCO, and Pakistan should promote their cultures also.