On September 15th, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif met world leaders including Russian President Vladimir Putin and Iran’s Ebrahim Raisi on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) summit in Samarkand, Uzbekistan
The premier visited Samarkand on a two-day trip where he attended the 22nd annual meeting of the Council of Heads of State (CHS) of the SCO.
Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, Finance Minister Miftah Ismail and Defence Minister Khwaja Asif also accompanied him. Uzbekistan PM Abdulla Aripov received the Prime Minister at the airport.
Successful meeting with Putin over Gas Supply
On the first day of his visit, the premier met President Vladimir Putin. The two leaders discussed bilateral ties and exchanged views on regional and international issues.
On the sidelines of the SCO summit, both had a satisfactory talk over the North-South gas pipeline.
The Russian President assured the premier about the possibility of gas supply to Pakistan as the required infrastructure is already in place.
President Putin expressed his delight at seeing PM Shehbaz and recalled fondly his work meetings with Nawaz Sharif, whom he had met while attending SCO gatherings in Kazakhstan and Bashkiria, Russia.
Putin said he would like to emphasize that he views Pakistan as a crucial ally in both Southeast Asia and all of Asia. He delightfully acknowledged that the two countries relations are progressing in a very positive way.
“I would like to begin our meeting by expressing condolences over the loss of life from natural disasters, the unprecedented flooding in Pakistan. For our part, we are willing to help your people. We have dispatched the necessary humanitarian aid there, and we are ready to help you organize assistance to the flood victims,” President Putin said.
The PM also praised Russia for its “positive role” in Afghanistan and reaffirmed Pakistan’s commitment to assisting all national and international initiatives aimed at bringing about stability in the neighboring nation.
The Foreign Office of Pakistan further gave a statement regarding their meeting “He reaffirmed Pakistan’s commitment to work closely with Russia to further expand and strengthen cooperation between the two countries across all areas of mutual benefit including food security, trade and investment, energy, defense, and security”, adding that it was agreed to convene the next meeting of the Inter-Governmental Commission (IGC) in Islamabad at an early date.
PM Shehbaz urges world leaders to unite against climate change
On his visit to SCO meeting, PM Shehbaz urged members of the organization to “create a wall” against climate change as Pakistan dealt with the flood destruction brought on by severe rains that have affected over 30 million people and killed over 1,500 people.
In his speech to the Council of Heads of State (CHS) of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), the prime minister made the call while discussing the environment, stability and security in Afghanistan, and international economic cooperation.
“The devastating floods in Pakistan are most definitely climate change-induced. It is the result of climate change, cloud outbursts, and unprecedented rains, combined with hill torrents coming down. All this put together makes Pakistan look like a sea of water,” the PM said. Stressing that he has “never seen this kind of devastation” before, he said that the SCO should plan well for the coming generations.
PM Shehbaz attended the close-format Council of Heads of States meeting at the Congress Centre together with the eight-member SCO, where he was welcomed by Shavkat Mirziyoyev, the president of Uzbekistan.
Russian President Vladimir Putin, Chinese President Xi Jinping, Uzbekistan President Shavkat Mirziyoyev, Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi, Azerbaijan President Ilham Aliyev, Tajikistan President Emomali Rahmon, Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi also attended the session.
The Pakistani premier stated that the nation is paying the price of climate change in reference to the destruction brought on by the floods.
He further told the members that the disaster has destroyed crops and damaged residences. He claimed that in the flood-affected areas, people are also dealing with infections. He expressed the hope that the nation would find a solution.
The prime minister also expressed gratitude to members of the SCO who supported Pakistan in this hour of need.