The SCO and Pakistan


Naseebullah Khan

Shanghai Cooperation Organization is the biggest regional alliance in the world where 45 per cent of the world people live, whose GDP is 18.3 trillion dollars which is 25 per cent of global GDP, while the member states of this alliance occupy 23 per cent of total landmass. Primarily, this alliance was established to fight extremism, separatism, terrorism and border management. But, now, its focus has expanded to economic, cultural and technological cooperation. Having strong strategic importance by connecting South Asia  with Central Asia, Pakistan (after becoming its full member in 2017) should avail this opportunity and get maximum gains through pragmatic diplomacy. Despite China, the trade relation of Pakistan with the rest of SCO members is pathetic, where the trade gap is touching the height. The statistics show that Pakistan imports 33.1 million dollars commodities from Uzbekistan while our export is 17 million dollar.  We import 86 million dollars goods from Kazakhstan while our export is 33 million dollars. Moreover, the situation is more gloomy in the case of Russia and India. The trade gap Between Pakistan and Russia and between Pakistan and India is more than 50 per cent. Pakistan should utilize its energy in breaking the Ice from the platform of the SCO  and exploit this opportunity so that to revive the economy. Pakistan could provide Gwadar port to the Central Asian Countries and Russia which is a link to the Indian Ocean. With the help of China, Russia and CAR,s (Central Asian Countries); should be incorporated in the CPEC , so that to open new doors of trade development. This economic expansion will be a Win_Win situation for all. Moreover,  the SCO members states are facing the scourge of terrorism and extremism. Many states like Russia, CAR,s , Iran, China and Pakistan have grave danger of the ISIS ( Islamic State in Iraq and Syria). All these states are directly connected with the Afghanistan peace process. In addition, the SCO can play a big role regarding the eradication of ISIS threat and for the Afghan peace process. Pakistan should use this platform and convince the members states that it has paid more to extremism and terrorism than any other state and cash the sacrifices which have been given against the global war on terrorism. Every possible step should be taken to get the advantages regarding the eradication of terrorism from the regional counter_terrorism structure of the SCO. Despite this, Pakistan ought to use this forum in addressing the issues with India including the issue of Kashmir. This demands a coherent and vibrant foreign policy so that to compel India to come to the negotiations through the platform of the SCO. Pakistan had also endorsed the proposal of five_year peaceful treaty between neighbouring state in 2017 when president Xi Jinping  met on the side-lines of the meeting with the than Prime Minister of Pakistan Nawaz Sharif.  Pakistan is still in the grip of grave crisis of energy. It is facing shortage of Oil, Gas and electricity. Many countries of the SCO like Russia and CAR,s have abundance of energy and mineral resources , which can fulfil the needs and demands of Pakistan.  Pakistan should work and leave no stone untouched through its diplomacy to overcome the menace of energy crisis with the platform of the alliance. Apart from this, Pakistan is also facing serious problems in agricultural and industrial sectors. Many SCO members ( Russia and CAR,s) could help Pakistan in handling these issues by providing new technology and innovation. The SCO will have strong importance in future economic development. The _general of the alliance Viladimir Norov has expected that its GDP could grow to 35_40%, of world GDP by 2030. Pakistan,  being its important member should avail the platform for its economic revival, trade development, attaining technical, innovation, logistic and infrastructure developments and apprehending the pathetic energy crisis.


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