In a virtual address at the 23rd meeting of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) Council of Heads of State (CHS), Pakistan’s Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif emphasized the need to combat terrorism and extremism with utmost determination. He referred to this menace as a “hydra-headed monster” that must be confronted at all levels, be it individuals, groups, or even states. Sharif cautioned against exploiting terrorism as a tool for diplomatic point-scoring and stressed the importance of condemning all forms of terrorism, including state-sponsored acts.
Sharif highlighted that the fight against terrorism requires unwavering commitment and conviction. He firmly asserted that terrorism in any form, regardless of the perpetrators or their motives, should be unequivocally condemned. The Prime Minister acknowledged Pakistan’s significant sacrifices in combating terrorism but acknowledged that the region continues to be plagued by this threat, which poses a significant obstacle to peace and stability.
During his address, Shehbaz Sharif also expressed concern for religious minorities. While he did not provide specific details, his remarks indicated a recognition of the challenges faced by minority communities. It is crucial to address these concerns and ensure the protection of religious freedom and the rights of all individuals, irrespective of their beliefs.
The Prime Minister’s emphasis on avoiding diplomatic point-scoring in the fight against terrorism reflects a commitment to global cooperation and collaboration. Sharif stressed that the battle against terrorism should not be instrumentalized for political gains or used to undermine diplomatic relations. This approach underscores the importance of collective efforts in eradicating terrorism and promoting peace.
The Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) is an influential regional forum comprising member states from Asia, including Pakistan, India, China, Russia, and several Central Asian nations. The annual meeting of the SCO Council of Heads of State serves as a platform for leaders to discuss and address regional challenges, such as security, economic cooperation, and counterterrorism efforts.
By participating in this virtual meeting hosted by India, Pakistan’s Prime Minister demonstrated the country’s commitment to regional cooperation and its willingness to engage constructively with neighboring nations. Despite longstanding tensions between Pakistan and India, the virtual format of the meeting allowed for diplomatic engagement and dialogue on crucial matters of mutual concern.
Shehbaz Sharif’s address at the SCO meeting emphasized the urgent need to combat terrorism and extremism at all levels. He called for concerted efforts and condemned all forms of terrorism, including state-sponsored acts. Additionally, his remarks highlighted the importance of protecting religious minorities and their rights. By rejecting diplomatic point-scoring, the Prime Minister expressed Pakistan’s commitment to collective action and regional cooperation in the fight against terrorism. The virtual meeting provided an opportunity for diplomatic engagement and dialogue among member states, promoting an atmosphere of collaboration and understanding.