On 21 July, SCO Secretary-General Zhang Ming arrived in Pakistan on an official visit. As part of his visit, the SCO Secretary-General met with Pakistani Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, Minister of Foreign Affairs Bilawal Zardari, Minister of Commerce Syed Qamar, Minister of Climate Change Sherry Rehman, Minister of Information Technology and Telecommunications Syed Aminul Haque and Minister of Maritime Affairs Faisal Subzwari, and visited the Institute of Strategic Studies Islamabad and the Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce & Industry.
The Prime Minister of Pakistan congratulated the Secretary-General on his appointment and stressed that the SCO epitomises international relations of a new type. Against the backdrop of a complex international environment, the SCO's influence is becoming ever more visible. The Organisation's role in responding to new challenges will steadily increase. Pakistan attaches importance to cooperation within the SCO and is in favour of deepening relations in various areas to enhance mutual understanding and trust among member states. Mr Sharif wished a fruitful meeting of the SCO Heads of State Council in September in Samarkand and reiterated Pakistan's willingness to contribute constructively to the success of the summit.
Foreign Minister Zardari said that over the past 21 years the SCO has indeed become a platform for multilateral cooperation, has earned a high international reputation and wielded considerable influence in the life of the region and the world.
Pakistan fully supports all aspects of the Organisation's activities, is committed to steadily strengthening its relations with member nations, maximising cooperation potential in trade, investment, finance, agriculture, education, healthcare, transport, information technology and other fields, and advancing interaction within the SCO to a new level.
The Secretary-General thanked the Pakistani side for its trust, support and warm welcome. He said that guided by the values of the Shanghai spirit, based on the principles of mutual trust, the SCO member states have been steadfastly pursuing effective multilateral cooperation in various fields.
Today, against the backdrop of profound changes in the international situation and increasing instability the SCO is constantly striving to make progress, improve its mechanisms of quick response to new challenges and threats, develop cooperation within its framework, and play an important role in building a new type of international relations, the Secretary-General said.
Zhang Ming expressed hope that Pakistan, as an important and active member of the SCO family, will make full use of its unique position, increase its investment in the projects implemented within the Organisation, and promote practical cooperation amongst the member states, to the benefit of the people of Pakistan. The Secretariat stands ready to continue playing a coordinating role, helping to reach consensus solutions, ensuring the SCO's success in its third decade.
The parties also exchanged views on the regional situation, the Afghan issue, improvement of SCO mechanisms, and the Organisation's interaction with other associations and organisations.
On 23 July, the SCO Secretary-General gave an interview to Pakistan National Television and met with Pakistani academic and business representatives.
On 25 July, Zhang Ming, together with an SCO Secretariat delegation, left for Tashkent to participate in a meeting of the SCO Council of Ministers of Foreign Affairs.