BEIJING: Pakistan, China will continue work together to develop and implement a joint mechanism at platform of Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO). According to an official of Pakistan’s embassy, Pakistan attached high importance to SCO taking advantage of the collaborative partnership to effectively deal their common agenda, most specifically the security-related issues.
China-led SCO has emerged as most effective platform to handle the security issues through collective wisdom at the regional level, he added. The SCO has already decided to admit Pakistan as its full members.
Meanwhile experts say that the “Shanghai Spirit” featuring mutual trust, mutual benefit, equality, consultation, respect for diverse civilizations and shared development still bears much significance for today’s anti-terrorism programs in relevant countries.
They made the remarks at a two-day symposium commemorating the 20th anniversary of the signing of the historic Agreement on Confidence-Building in the Military Field in Border Areas between “Shanghai Five” nations, namely, China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan, in Shanghai on April 26, 1996.
The “Shanghai Spirit” not only laid the foundation for the “Shanghai Five” mechanism, which has successfully settled disputes and maintained the tranquility of the border areas among participating nations, but also serves as the core value of the later developed Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), experts said.
“We are faced with increasingly heightened border stress, which could grow more grave in the future. Under such circumstances, we should further enhance mutual trust and mutual benefit to counter terrorism,” said Yuri Tavrovsky, professor at People’s Friendship University of Russia.
Guided by the “Shanghai Spirit,” the “Shanghai Five” group, in order to strengthen mutual support in safeguarding national unity and sovereignty and resist all kinds of threats to regional security, has agreed that their defense ministers should meet annually and their militaries should more actively conduct joint exercises and training, exchange information about peacekeeping operations, and hold conferences and other exchanges.
However, this era has witnessed an increase of violent regional tensions and terrorist activities, said Andre Kazantsev, director of the Analytical Center at Russia’s Moscow Institute of International Relations.
“Against such a background, it is very necessary for us to enhance our coordination to combat terrorism and safeguard the security in Central Asia,” Kazantsev said.
According to him, countries in Central Asia should beware that the Islamic State group has made a large number of recruits from this economically uneven area and the possibility that terrorist activities could be initiated from within Central Asian nations is on the rise.
“We need such effective international organizations as the SCO to coordinate anti-terrorism efforts from different countries and forge a secure environment for our economic and social development,” Kazantsev said.
“Only with mutual trust can we respond to the fast-changing dynamics of the terrorist groups,” said Tarrant Sultonov, former director of Pakistan’s Center for National Strategic Studies.