No first placement of weapons in outer space: Pak, Russia

FM moves 7-point agenda to SCO to fight common challenges

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ΘΘOUR CORRESPONDENT

BISHKIK

Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi Wednesday linking Pakistan’s future with shared Pan- Asian prosperity said an institutional framework among the regional states was important to address common challenges mainly terrorism, poverty and economy through dispute resolution.

Enduring peace and prosperity in South Asia will remain elusive without good-faith diplomacy and result-oriented dialogue, he said in his address at the plenary session of Shanghai Cooperation Organization’s Council of Foreign Ministers meeting, held here in Kyrgyzstan’s capital.

Foreign Minister Qureshi pointed that South Asia, as part and parcel of SCO, lagged behind other regions in terms of regional cooperation, economic integration and connectivity that resulted in formidable challenges including poverty, illiteracy and disease. He said political differences and unresolved disputes among the states had compounded the predicament.

On a positive note, he said, Pakistan had initiated work on the Kartarpur Corridor to facilitate pilgrimage of Sikh pilgrims to visit their holy shrine, adding that the Shanghai Spirit was being reinforced through the Kartarpur Spirit. Qureshi presented a seven-point agenda at the SCO meeting focusing on confidence-building measures among member states including control on weapon race, establishment of joint fund and international framework to combat corruption and crime.

Meanwhile, Pakistan and Russia Wednesday signed a Joint Statement on ‘No First Placement of Weapons in Outer Space’, expressing commitment to prevent outer space from becoming an arena of military confrontation. The Joint Statement was signed by Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi and his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov, on the sidelines of Shanghai Cooperation Organizations’s Council of Foreign Ministers meeting held in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, a Foreign Office statement said.

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