Islamabad, 20 April 2023 (TDI): Pakistan’s Foreign Minister, Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, is set to lead the country’s delegation to the upcoming Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO)-Council of Foreign Ministers (CFM) meeting scheduled to be held on 4-5 May 2023 in Goa, India.

The participation of Pakistan’s Foreign Minister in the meeting demonstrates the country’s unwavering commitment to the SCO Charter and its processes.

Despite having territorial and ideological disputes with the hosting state, Pakistan’s participation in the meeting shows its willingness to engage in regional cooperation and resolve differences through dialogue and diplomacy.

This also highlights Pakistan’s recognition of the importance of the SCO in promoting peace, stability, and economic development in the region.

The CFM meeting is expected to focus on a range of issues, including regional security, economic cooperation, and cultural exchanges, and Pakistan’s delegation is likely to play an active role in shaping the agenda and outcomes of the meeting.

The meeting is a significant platform for Pakistan to reaffirm its support for the regional organization and its efforts toward promoting peace, stability, and development in the region. It also highlights the importance that Pakistan accords to the region in its foreign policy priorities.

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As a responsible member of the SCO, Pakistan remains committed to working closely with other member states toward the shared goal of regional cooperation and integration.

The SCO platform provides a valuable opportunity for member states to engage in constructive dialogue and collaboration on a range of regional and international issues of mutual concern.

Pakistan’s willingness to confirm its attendance at the SCO-CFM meeting demonstrates its unwavering dedication to regional integration and cooperation.

The nation is still dedicated to collaborating closely with other members in order to advance the shared objective of fostering regional peace, stability, and growth.

Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO)

The SCO was established in 2001 with the aim of promoting regional stability and economic cooperation among its member states. It comprises eight main member states, including China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, India, and Pakistan.

In terms of population and geographic coverage, the SCO is the largest regional organization in the world, accounting for more than 30% of the global GDP and roughly 60% of Eurasia.

The organization has gained significant influence in the region, particularly with the inclusion of India and Pakistan.

Recently, Saudi Arabia joined the SCO as a dialogue partner and Iran as a permanent member, which underscores the impact of the organization around the globe.

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The fact that the SCO is now going beyond its traditional focus on Central Asia emphasizes the organization’s expanding global influence, which now includes four of the top ten oil-producing nations in the world.

However, for now, it is unclear how Saudi Arabia and Iran joining as dialogue partners will affect the organization’s dynamics and objectives. But these additions portray the positive image of the organization.