Dr Rasool Baksh Raees (Expert on International Relations): The Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) was established primarily to address the security concerns in the region. Pakistan became a permanent member of this important forum back in 2017. If we look at the current regional situation, there are threats of chaos and anarchy in the war-torn country. Moreover, there could be humanitarian crisis, if the world community does not support the Afghan government so it is the high-time that the international community to take active actions to help ease the economic crisis in Afghanistan by providing aid to the war-torn country even as it called on the Taliban to stay true to its commitment not to allow terrorist groups to operate from the Afghan soil. Prime Minister Imran Khan today arrived in Tajikistan to attend 20th SCO's Heads of State Summit. The prime minister in his sideline meeting with other leaders also discussed bilateral relations, especially enhancing trade, economic and investment ties with a particular focus on regional connectivity.
Dr Zafar Nawaz Jaspal (Expert on International Relations): Pakistan is an important regional stakeholder and the permanent member of Shanghai Cooperation Organization. The main agenda of the summit will be the Afghan situation. Major regional powers including China, Russia and Iran are participating in the summit and these countries are also the big neighbors of Afghanistan. The ongoing SCO summit is expected to come up with new mechanisms, such as an anti-narcotics center, to cope with new threats as far as the regional situation is concerned. Afghanistan is an SCO observer state and shares borders with several member states. I am hopeful that the members will reach consensus in urging the US-led Western countries to perform their duties and urge the Taliban to completely cut itself from all terrorist groups, and discuss practical plans and new mechanisms on Afghanistan's reconstruction. There is the need for active participation of the international community to provide humanitarian assistance to Afghanistan. Peaceful Afghanistan is in the best interest of Pakistan and the region.
Dr Abdul Wajid Khan (Expert on International Relations): The ongoing SCO summit has vital importance in the context of the prevailing situation in the region. The SCO is primarily centered on security-related concerns, often describing the main threats it confronts as being terrorism, separatism and extremism. The SCO member states reaffirm their commitment to help Afghanistan build a peaceful, stable and prosperous country free from terrorism, warfare and drugs. The Taliban government also stated that Afghanistan will not be used against countries in the region for offensive purposes because it would not serve their interests. So, the international efforts toward Afghanistan’s stabilization and development, with the United Nations playing the central coordinating role. At this point of time, if the world does not support Afghanistan then there may be anarchy and chaos in Afghanistan that will lead to increasing tendency of terrorism. Peaceful and stable Afghanistan is in the interests of the region. The peace spoilers in Afghanistan must be dealt with iron hands. The Afghan Taliban must also adopt policies where they can get international acceptance.
Dr Shahid Hassan Siddiqui (Economist): The previous Afghan government was under Indian influence and allowed Indian agencies to use Afghan soil in order to destabilize Pakistan. After the Taliban took over the power in Afghanistan, they have ensured all the neighboring countries that Afghan soil will not be used against any other country. After the withdrawal of NATO forces from Afghanistan, China, Russia, Pakistan and central Asian states are coming up with a positive response. China being an emerging economic power has indicated to make investments in the war-torn country that will also benefit Pakistan economically as well. Now we will see economic activities in the region once the new Afghan government will be a part of CPEC. In the Taliban regime, the exports of Afghanistan to Pakistan will also increase to a great extent. It is a golden opportunity for the regional countries to make economic developments in the region.