PM to visit Tajikistan on Sep 16-17 to attend SCO

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan will lead the country at the 20th Shanghai Cooperation Organization Council of Heads of State (SCO-CHS) Summit in Tajikistan’s capital Dushanbe, during his two-day official visit on September 16-17.

The visit of PM Imran Khan is taking place at the invitation of Tajik President Emomali Rahmon on September 16-17. A high-level ministerial delegation will accompany the prime minister.

This will be the third visit of the Prime Minister to Central Asia, undermining Pakistan’s enhanced engagement with the region. He has earlier participated in SCO-CHS held in Bishkek, Kyrgyz Republic on 13-14 June 2019 and SCO-CHS hosted by Russia on 10 November 2020 through video conference.

The SCO, an eight-member permanent inter-governmental trans-regional Organization, was established in Shanghai on 15 June 2001. Pakistan became an SCO Observer in 2005 and a full member in June 2017 during Astana SCO-CHS Summit. Russia, China, India, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, the Kyrgyz Republic, and Tajikistan are other SCO members.

The SCO also has four observer states (Iran, Mongolia, Belarus, and Afghanistan) and six Dialogue Partners (Azerbaijan, Armenia, Cambodia, Nepal, Turkey, and Sri Lanka). The prime minister will hold bilateral meetings with other participating leaders on the sidelines.

“His talks with Tajik President will cover the entire gamut of bilateral relations, especially enhancing trade, economic and investment ties with a particular focus on regional connectivity,” the Foreign Office said.

The two countries have earlier expressed a strong commitment to enter into a formal strategic partnership. The prime minister will inaugurate the first meeting of the Pakistan-Tajikistan Business Forum for which a group of Pakistani businessmen is also visiting Dushanbe.

“The Joint Business Forum will catalyze growing trade and investment relations and promote business to business contacts between the trading communities of both sides,” the FO statement said. A meeting of the Pakistan-Tajikistan Joint Business Council will also be held on the sidelines.

Pakistan and Tajikistan enjoy close brotherly relations underpinned by the bonds of common faith, history, and culture. The two countries have shared perceptions and a common desire to promote economic development, peace, security, and stability in the region.

The Prime Minister’s visit is part of Pakistan’s deepened engagement with Central Asia through ‘Vision Central Asia’ policy, having revitalized focus in five key areas of political ties, trade and investment, energy and connectivity, security and defense, and people-to-people contacts. TF Report

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