The SCO was formed by China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan in 2001 to fight threats posed by radical Islam and drug trafficking from neighboring Afghanistan.
Several SCO officials, including host President Nursultan Nazarbaev, called it a "historic" day. Advisor on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz and Minister for Commerce Khurram Dastgir were also present at the meeting. He also thanked SCO countries for granting membership to India. The SCO played the role of a sheet anchor for regional progress and prosperity in view of the global changes. He said that Pakistan and its forces are valiantly fighting the menace of terrorism.
Pakistan was diligently implementing China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC ), a flagship of One belt One Road initiative, he said, adding it would be beneficial for the entire SCO members.
Sartaj expressed the hope that Pakistan enjoyed multi-dimensional ties with SCO countries and after becoming its full member, the opportunities in the realm of multilateral cooperation, land and connectivity and trade activities would get a spur.
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Earlier, a welcoming ceremony was held here in which Prime MinisterMuhammad Nawaz Sharif was warmly received by Kazakh president in the powerful Eurasian body.
The two leaders met in Astana, Kazakhstan, on the sidelines of a summit for the eight-country bloc, which also includes almost a dozen other states as partners or observer states.
In the 2015 summit in Ufa in Russian Federation, the group had formally adopted a resolution which started the procedure to admit India and Pakistan into the SCO.
They reportedly exchanged greetings even as it was the first occasion when the two leaders came across each other after Sharif's operation.
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What lent significance to Xi's decision was his meeting with Indian PM Narendra Modi on the sidelines of the summit.
"The sense of the meeting was that the two countries have great benefit, great interest in working with each other and we will have differences", said Foreign Secretary S. Jaishankar. He also enquired about Sharif's mother and family, a top source said.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi said the expansion of SCO should serve a "springboard" for the organization to become one of the most dynamic in the world.
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