Islamabad, 21 July 2022 (TDI): Ambassador Zhang Ming, the Secretary General of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), will visit Pakistan. He will be accompanied by a delegation of officials from the SCO Secretariat based in Beijing.

The visit will last from 21-24 July 2022. Whilst here, Ambassador Zhang Ming will have meetings with the Foreign Minister of Pakistan as well as Ministers of Information Technology, Climate Change, Commerce, and Maritime Affairs.

Moreover, he will also be speaking at the Institute of Strategic Studies Islamabad (ISSI) along with engaging with entrepreneurs and business leaders.

It is pertinent to mention here that the SCO is a significant trans-regional multilateral organization having 8 members plus China and Russia. The SCO countries have 41% of the world’s population.

Likewise, the SCO region accounts for 23% of the global GDP. What’s more, the organization serves as a vital forum for Pakistan to boost its historic and deep-rooted ties with the member states.

Along these lines, Pakistan can garner strong ties through socio-economic collaboration for mutual benefit in myriad fields. The visit of the Secretary-General of SCO will furnish Pakistan with the opportunity to engage with the SCO Secretariat.

In the same vein, Pakistan will be able to highlight its perspective as well as priorities for making SCO mechanisms more adequate to advance common economic and regional security objectives.

Shanghai Cooperation Organisation: An Overview

The Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) is an economic, political, military, and security alliance. It is the successor to the Shanghai Five.

Shanghai Five was a mutual security agreement between Russia, China, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, and Tajikistan, established in 1996.

However, the leaders of the above-mentioned countries as well as Uzbekistan met in Shanghai, on 15 June 2001, to announce a new organization with more in-depth political and economic partnership.

The SCO Charter was signed on 7 July 2002 while it entered into force on 19 September 2003. Since then, its membership has expanded to eight states, with India and Pakistan also joining the organization.

Furthermore, many countries are engaged as observers or partners. The organization is overseen by the Heads of State Council (HSC). HSC is its ultimate decision-making body.

In addition, military exercises are also conducted regularly amongst the member countries to enable collaboration and coordination to maintain regional peace and stability.