PM Imran calls for establishment of framework for combating corruption

BISHKEK, June 14 (INP): Prime Minister Imran Khan on Friday urged members of the Shanghai Organisation Council (SCO) to establish a comprehensive framework for combating corruption and white-collar crime.

Addressing a session of SCO’s Council Head of the States meeting in Bishkek, the prime minister said, Pakistan provides the vital connectivity between the Middle East and China and Central and South Asia.

“These geographic proximities and economic imperatives draw us closer to SCO,” PM Imran said. “Pakistan’s foreign policy outlook is anchored on the inextricable link between peace and development.”

He continued, “We build partnerships based on mutual respect, sovereign equality and equal benefit. The China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), the flagship project of president XI’s far-sighted Belt and Road Initiative, is fast reaching fruition. In time, CPEC is destined to catalyze the creation of an integrated pan-Asian sphere of shared prosperity.”

“The world stands at cross-roads. For the first time in ages, we are seeing the advent of a multi-polar global order,” the prime minister said, adding, “There are increasing barriers to open trade and innovation.”

“Growing intolerance and Islamophobia are threatening to accentuate religious fault-lines. For its part, Pakistan condemns terrorism in all its form and manifestations, including State-terrorism against people under illegal occupation,” PM Imran added.

The prime minister further said, Pakistan remains ready to share its expertise to counter-terrorism.

Moreover, the prime minister said, SCO’s support for post-conflict Afghanistan will remain crucial. “We deem this to part of shared reasonability and therefore, appreciate the positive contributions being made by China, Russia and Afghanistan’s immediate neighbours,” he said.

Speaking about the evolving situation in Gulf and Middle East, PM Imran said, “We join the SCO members in urging the parties to exercise restraint, take steps to deescalate the situation and find solution through diplomatic means.”

He further said on the turf of international politics, there is an opening for SCO to play its role in framing a brave new world.

As part of that, the prime minister suggested an eight-pronged course of action which, “Reinforces our vision of cooperation that rejects confrontation and advance the imperatives of peaceful co-existence at the regional and international levels.”

He added, “Finalize arrangements for trade in local currencies and set up SCO Find and SCO Development Bank to catalyze the trans-regional development agenda.”

The prime minister also proposed setting up SCO Culture and Tourism Corridors, clustering multiple SCO destinations into a single package.

“Make SCO more relevant to the daily lives of citizens by promoting food security and enhancing cooperation in health and humanitarian sectors. Take the lead role in establishing a comprehensive framework for combating corruption and white collar crime,” he added.

“Prioritize women and youth development by focusing inter-alia in strengthening the Women Forum and the Youth Council and mandating them to promote gender mainstreaming skills acquisition and jobs mobility,” PM Imran said, adding. “Bridge the gap between the region-specific research and policy by launching feasibilities for creating SCO Centres of Excellence on poverty alleviation, de-radicalisation, Connectivity and new technologies.”