Pakistan will host SCO leaders in October

Pakistan will host the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) heads of governments’ meeting in October, announced Foreign Office spokesperson Mumtaz Zahra Baloch during her weekly media briefing on Thursday.

“Pakistan currently holds the rotating Chairmanship of the SCO Council of Heads of Government (CHG), the SCO’s second-highest decision-making forum. In this capacity, Pakistan will host the SCO Heads of Government Meeting in October this year,” Ms. Baloch stated.

The two-day meeting is scheduled for October 15-16.

The October gathering of member country leaders will be preceded by a ministerial meeting and several rounds of senior officials’ discussions focusing on financial, economic, socio-cultural, and humanitarian cooperation among SCO member states.

Addressing a query, Ms. Baloch confirmed that Pakistan will extend invitations to all heads of governments of SCO member states for the summit, which will be held in person.

Ms. Baloch also rejected a recent UN panel report that characterized the detention of former Prime Minister Imran Khan as “arbitrary,” describing the report as “unwarranted” and based on an incomplete understanding of Pakistan’s legal system.

“I will not delve into the motives of any organization or country regarding their recent reports or statements,” Ms. Baloch asserted. “However, I would like to emphasize that a report on any specific case is unwarranted when it lacks objectivity and is based on an incomplete and inaccurate understanding of Pakistan’s legal and judicial system.”

The UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention’s report had criticized the detention of Mr. Khan, asserting it lacked legal foundation and appeared designed to prevent him from contesting political office. The report urged Mr. Khan’s immediate release and called for reforms to ensure compliance with international human rights standards.

Ms. Baloch underscored Pakistan’s commitment to upholding the rights and freedoms of all citizens under its Constitution, supported by an independent judiciary. She defended Pakistan’s legal procedures, stating, “For anyone facing legal proceedings, there are adequate avenues and mechanisms available for seeking justice and redressing grievances. Pakistani courts adjudicate matters according to local laws to determine the innocence or guilt of individuals under trial.”

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