Pakistan counts on full-scale SCO membership ‘soon’

Pakistan expects to receive full-fledged membership at the Shanghai Cooperation Organization soon, President Asif Ali Zardari said on Wednesday.

“We hope that our membership application will be put on a fast track,” he told a six-nation summit in Astana. “In the meantime, Pakistan will participate in all of the SCO’s peace and development programs.”

The leaders of China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan are meeting to discuss regional stability and security, including the fight against terrorism and drug trafficking.

Iran, Mongolia, India and Pakistan have observer status in the organization.

Pakistan would like to join SCO initiatives to facilitate regional and trans-regional cooperation and trade, Zardari added.

“We would like to cooperate with regional countries in the financial and banking sector, the setting up of joint ventures, educational, infrastructural, and theological programs,” he said.

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