Pakistan President Mamnoon Hussain at the 18th meeting of the Council of Heads of States of Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) in Qingdao on Sunday urged member states to consider the establishment of a development fund to eliminate terrorism and extremism, Radio Pakistan reported.

President Hussain is attending the SCO summit at the invitation of Chinese President Xi Jinping who chaired the meeting at the Qingdao International Conference Centre in the cultural and port city of Shandong province.

This is the first summit being held after the inclusion of Pakistan in the SCO. Previously, Pakistan had attended the summit only as an observer.

President Hussain, while addressing the summit, said that Pakistan has rendered unprecedented sacrifices in the war against terror to bring peace to the region.

He said that the law and order situation has improved in Pakistan over the last few years due to effective efforts against terrorism and extremism.

He urged leaders in attendance to unite to meet the challenges faced by them and advised them to take effective measures for capacity building and skill development of the youth in member states.

He welcomed an offer of cooperation by Afghan President Ashraf Ghani to the Taliban for durable peace in Afghanistan, and said that a ceasefire in Afghanistan is a positive sign for regional peace. He added that Islamabad and Kabul both are working on a comprehensive bilateral strategy to establish peace in Afghanistan.

He said that peace and stability in Afghanistan is a common objective, and that Pakistan is playing its due role in this regard.

The handshake

President Hussain and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi shook hands and held a brief chat at the summit, although the two will reportedly not hold a bilateral meeting at the summit.

Hussain will, however, hold bilateral meetings with his counterparts from China, Iran, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan to discuss ties and ways of further enhancing the cooperation.

The leaders of all eight member countries are in attendance at the summit, including President of Kazakhstan N. A. Nazarbayev, Chinese President XI Jinping, Kyrgyz President Sooronbay Jeenbekov, Russian President Vladimir Putin, Tajik President E.Rahmon and Uzbek President Sh. M. Mirziyoyev, in addition to Modi and Hussain.

Afghanistan, Belarus, Iran, Mongolia and Turkmenistan are attending the meeting as observers.

Representatives of the United Nations, Commonwealth of Independent States, Collective Security Treaty Organization, Association of South East Asian Nations, Conference on Interaction and Confidence-Building Measures in Asia, International Monetary Fund and World Bank are also in attendance.

The session began with opening remarks from President Xi Jinping, following which leaders of member states addressed the summit.

After conclusion of the session, the leaders signed the declaration of the summit.