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Full membership of SCO to boost Pakistan’s economy: Shahid Rasheed Butt

Lahore : Efforts of the Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif must be lauded which has resulted in full membership of Pakistan in the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO), a business leader said Sunday.

The SCO will not only give Pakistan a powerful platform to promote its economy, but it will also help our voice to be heard more clearly on regional and international matters, said Shahid Rasheed Butt.

Now Pakistan will be better equipped to ensure peace, build trust, spur economic development, combat terrorism, reduce arms race, eliminate poverty, deal with natural disasters, tackle climate change and assure water security, he added.

He said that expansion of the SCO has taken place at a time when China’s ‘One Belt, One Road’ (OBOR) initiative has transformed the global economic landscape.

He also lauded the move of the PM Nawaz to use the opportunity to meet Afghan President Ashraf Ghani on the side-lines of the SCO moot in Astana. Both the leaders have agreed to combat terrorism which is a positive development, he added.

Tensions between Pakistan and Afghanistan frequently hit bilateral relations trade which is damaging both countries, he said.

Shahid Rasheed Butt said that both the brotherly Islamic countries should resolve this issue amicably as Pakistan plans to import 1300 megawatt electricity from central Asia through Afghanistan which will cost it 5 cents per KWH while Afghan government will get 1.25 cents per KWH as transit fee.

Similarly, Pakistan plans to import gas from Turkmenistan which will be added to the national gas grid in Quetta for which friendly relations with Kabul are imperative.

Afghanistan is full of mineral, iron ore and coal which can be transported to Fata or Khyber Pakhtunkhwa for value addition. A big steel mill can be established in northern Pakistan for the purpose which can provide jobs and earn foreign exchange.

The ongoing projects will bring Pakistan, Afghanistan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan and Turkmenistan closer and make them interdependent with every country wanting stability in the partner nation.

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