Russian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday said that pipeline gas supplies to Pakistan were possible, revealing that necessary infrastructures were already in place, according to state-owned news agency RIA.

He made these remarks in a meeting with Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) summit in Samarkand, Uzbekistan.

The premier arrived in Samarkand today on a two-day trip where he will attend the 22nd annual meeting of the Council of Heads of State (CHS) of the SCO.

Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, Finance Minister Miftah Ismail and Defence Minister Khwaja Asif are also accompanying him. Uzbekistan PM Abdulla Aripov received the prime minister upon his arrival at the airport.

Shortly after arriving, the prime minister visited Khizr Complex and paid his respects at the mausoleum of Uzbekistan’s first president, Islam Karimov.

PM meets Uzbek president

On the first day of his two-day visit, the prime minister held a meeting with Uzbekistan President Shavkat Mirziyoyev on the sidelines of the SCO meeting and discussed issues of mutual interest.

 Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif and President of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev held a meeting on the sidelines of SCO on Thursday. — APP
Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif and President of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev held a meeting on the sidelines of SCO on Thursday. — APP

The meeting focused on strengthening Pak-Uzbek ties in diverse fields for the benefit of the two brotherly nations.

Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, Asif, Ismail, and other senior officials attended the meeting as well.

The PM also met President of Tajikistan Emamoli Rahmon, Information Minister Marriyum Aurangzeb said. “Both leaders agreed to bolster and expand the scope of mutually beneficial fraternal ties,” she tweeted.

The premier is also scheduled to meet other world leaders including Turkiye President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi, Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko, and Kyrgyz President Sadyr Japarov.

However, Foreign Office Spokesman Asim Iftikhar earlier told Dawn PM Shehbaz had no plans to meet his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi.

An official, when contacted, said though a brief courtesy meeting between the two was possible, they would not be holding talks as none of the two sides had sought a meeting.

‘Pakistan reiterates commitment to Shanghai Spirit’

Prior to his departure, PM Shehbaz took to Twitter to share his views on the SCO summit.

“The global economic turbulence has necessitated the need for more cooperation among SCO member countries,” he said, adding that the “SCO vision” represented the aspirations of 40 per cent of the world’s population.

“Pakistan reiterates its commitment to ‘Shanghai Spirit’. Mutual respect and trust can be the bedrock of shared development and prosperity,” he said.

“The SCO has great potential to chart a way forward at a time of deeply worrying transformation in geo-political & geo-economic fields,” he concluded.

The premier will be participating in the CHS meeting on the invitation of President of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziy­oyev, who will chair it.

“At the forthcoming event, the SCO leaders will deliberate on important global and regional issues, including climate change, food security, energy security, and sustainable supply chains,” Radio Pakistan said.

They will also approve agreements and documents that would chart the future direction of cooperation among SCO member states.

Additional input from APP

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