Exclusive: SCO's adding new members 'need of the hour'

Updated: 2014-09-12 18:37

By ZHANG YUNBI (chinadaily.com.cn)

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Pakistani Ambassador Masood Khalid told China Daily exclusively on Friday that expanding membership of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization is "the need of the hour" as member states agreed on procedures to enlarge the SCO.

At a leaders' summit in Dushanbe, Tajikistan, on Friday, SCO members approved two key documents regarding procedures for admitting new members.

"By expanding SCO membership we will strengthen the SCO and help build a better, peaceful, and prosperous region," Khalid said.

"At the current SCO summit, we will pursue that objective. We thank China for supporting Pakistan in the pursuit of that endeavor," he added.

Pakistan already has SCO observer status and has expressed its desire to become a full member. Khalid said Pakistan believes that the SCO has a major role to play in promoting regional security.

"Terrorism remains a major threat to our region, and I believe that this threat cannot be dealt with by a single country.

"We need well-coordinated, determined and sincere efforts at regional level to effectively fight terrorism. The SCO provides an important platform where regional solutions to deal with terrorism can be found and addressed," he said.

On the economic front, there is no question that the SCO can play an instrumental role in massive development of the region, he said.

"Just look at our region, we have some of the most vibrant and dynamic countries participating in the SCO. In this age of globalization and digitalization, the SCO can provide the means, resources and the platform to pursue the goals of economic, trade and financial integration," he said.