At a meeting of the Council of Heads of State of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) in Samarkand, Pakistani Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif stressed the need to find regional solutions to urgent issues as they endanger the collective peace of the SCO nations. Islamabad’s position at the conference provides that vision with a tangible form, and when compared to the Samarkand Declaration’s ultimate goal, it fits quite well. The Declaration said that “They [member states] believe that consistent implementation of these principles contributes to a new model of regional cooperation that makes a constructive contribution to strengthening mutually beneficial multilateral relations in Eurasia.” A wall against climate change is also in the best interests of the SCO and is long overdue by the world community, all in the same spirit of regional cooperation.

Pakistan’s emphasis on a singular “devastation” within its borders, which resulted from a crisis not of its creation, is a key driver for the success of a Pakistan-focused SCO climate action plan. Member nations already concur that climate change has dire consequences, particularly the threat it presents to food security, and Pakistan’s tenacity in the face of enormous famine threats dispels any remaining doubt.

The SCO includes nations with economies that are at various levels of development and may utilise connection and crisis help in one nation to serve as an example for economic recovery in many others. The effects of climate change are universal. Given that it has cross-border ramifications and that the SCO serves as an integrative platform, it is ideally suited for fostering collaborations that can evaluate Pakistan’s current and future demands as they are influenced by the environment. The SCO’s continued support of one another’s legitimate “development interests” in accordance with the fundamental tenets of the 2007 SCO Treaty on Good-Neighbourliness, Friendship, and Cooperation is one indication of the organization’s integrative standing.

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The long-standing alliance between Islamabad and China teaches important lessons for a united and peaceful society. Wang Yi, the foreign minister of China, recently emphasised the need for unity by promoting the interests of both present and future SCO members. Due to the lack of political baggage, unlike other Western blocs that filter strategic interactions along ideological lines, the SCO grouping is now extended, consolidated, and constantly poised to globalise its network of engagements. In other words, once mutual trust, rooted in the SCO charter, enables nations to agree on fundamental interests and pressing issues, it strengthens the front between them to defend each other’s legitimate interests and find mutually agreeable solutions to pressing regional problems.

Pakistan’s outspoken support for connection initiatives that would result in “a win-win conclusion” for all SCO member nations is opportune. Its direct regional concern about the lack of such connectivity in an area rich in commercial potential, geopolitical significance, and neighbourly ties.The SCO has also heard earlier mentions of the threat of terrorism, which is still posing a threat to regional stability. There are unique lessons to be learned on a regional scale from Pakistan’s decades-long commitment to eradicating all kinds of terrorism. For some nations unwilling to alter their bilateral strategies, the SCO’s appeal to “strengthen global cooperation in combatting terrorism in all its forms and manifestations” provides a way forward. More specifically, a method for responding to security threats might be advantageous for the SCO platform because it has already been suggested and has a great deal of potential to scale up collaboration in “non-traditional” security realms.


Pakistan maintains cordial relations with the Central Asian republics and is open to exploring opportunities for productive commerce and connectivity that closely align with the SCO’s own definition of positive international “trade, economic, cultural, and humanitarian connections.” The Samarkand Declaration serves as a special reminder that cooperation is also necessary for genuine multilateralism. States recognise that everyone is affected by the world’s increasingly complicated problems.

With such a well-rounded viewpoint, the SCO is also placed in a distinct regional cooperation league, away from harmful stories of voluntary exclusion that have been repeated by narrow coalitions posing as “like-minded democracies.” The SCO’s decision to accept Iran as a full member conveys the appropriate message that putting the “region” first will ensure the continuation of “regional connectivity.” As history has often shown, connecting along favoured lines has been ineffective. The SCO is actively supporting Pakistan’s willingness to use the physical, economic, historical, and cultural assets of the area for mutual gain. It is encouraging to see interest grow in Turkey’s potential membership. Ankara is unquestionably a reliable ally of Pakistan, a strong proponent of international ties, and has implemented its vision of growth by supporting engagements from the West to Asia.

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