SAMARKAND: Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Friday called upon the member states of Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) to come up with Pakistan-specific programmes on climate change as the country faced devastating impact of the global natural phenomenon.
“This climatic injustice has befallen us despite the fact that our carbon emission is less than one percent,” the prime minister said in his address at the Heads of State meeting of the eight-member SCO, held here in the historic city of Samarkand.
The prime minister’s call to the SCO members came in the wake of the recent flash floods in Pakistan that wreaked havoc with the livelihood and infrastructure across the country.
He mentioned that Pakistan was braving the disaster of floods, where hill torrents and massive rains killed 1,400 people including 400 children while million of houses were damaged partially or completely.
“I earnestly appeal to all of you that let the SCO stand up and take steps against this devastation through sustainable programmes,” he said.
PM Sharif said the country never faced such level of climate-induced catastrophe in its history that inflicted disaster upon human lives, infrastructure, livestock and crops.
He stressed the dire need of assistance by the international community to help Pakistan overcome the problems in the wake of floods, including relief, rehabilitation and control of water-borne diseases.
“In view of the massive disaster, I would be very honest to urge this forum to extend assistance to Pakistan and chalk out plans regarding climate change for our future generations,” he said.
PM Sharif reaffirmed Pakistan’s firm and unwavering commitment to achieving the goals of the SCO.
He expressed Pakistan’s commitment to join the the SCO states in implementation of robust connectivity plans among the neighbouring regional countries.
“It will be a win-win outcome for all the member states. This is the time to act, and act now,” he stressed.
The prime minister said Pakistan was firm in collective dedication to fight the menace of extremism, separatism and terrorism.
In fight against terrorism, he said, thousands of Pakistani civilians and armed forces laid down their lives for the security of their homeland.
As the neighbouring country of Afghanistan, he said, Pakistan valued peace, progress and shared development of the country important for the region.
“We have to work together to support all good initiatives in Afghanistan for the good of the people of Afghanistan in areas, particularly education, health and human rights,” he said.
Sharif said it would be a “big mistake if we ignored Afghanistan.”
He emphasized that strengthening Afghanistan as vital in view the stability of the region besides achieving the goals of the SCO.
He urged the SCO community to work towards unfreezing the assets of Afghanistan, and ensuring respect for human rights especially women and minorities.
The prime minister congratulated the Iranian president on the attainment of full membership of his country to the platform of SCO.