ISLAMABAD: National Security Adviser Dr. Moeed Yusuf, during his visit to Tajikistan, on Wednesday met Secretary of the Security Council of Russia Nikolai Platonovich Patrushev in Dushanbe, who extended a special invitation to him for visiting Moscow. National Security Adviser Dr Moeed Youssef met with his Russian counterpart Nikolai Platonovich Patrushev in Tajikistan at the sidelines of the 16th meeting of the Secretaries of the Security Council of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) member states being held on June 22 and June 23, said a media release. The two sides pledged to further deepen and diversify Pak-Russia relations. However, the matters pertaining to the regional security situation and prevailing situation in Afghanistan was also discussed during the meeting. The Russian counterpart extended a special invitation to National Security Adviser Dr Moeed Yusuf to visit Moscow. Dr Moeed Yusuf during his participation at the SCO meeting did not meet with Indian NSA Ajit Doval. He in his speech during the meeting presented Pakistan’s position on the regional situation and also outlined the country’s overview on the role of the SCO Forum. Dr Moeed Yusuf said that Pakistan condemned terrorism in all its forms and manifestations, including state terrorism against the people under illegal occupation. Pakistan had been a victim of terrorism planned, supported and sponsored from across its borders, which unfortunately remained a reality even today. “It has at its roots, actors, who may present themselves as advocates of global cooperation against terrorism, but in reality perpetuate it to create instability in our country and the region,” The adviser said, “Terrorism cannot and should not be associated with any race, religion, nationality, civilization or ethnic group.” The NSA said Pakistan did not wish to be part of any camp politics or geopolitical confrontation. “Pakistan’s vision for itself is that of a melting pot for positive global interests.” In his formal statement, Dr Yusuf further said Pakistan’s main priority of generating greater economic activity, reducing unemployment and poverty alleviation were completely in sync with the SCO’s direction. He said the vision of the transformed Pakistan was centered on economic security, adding the country’s emphasis had shifted from geo-politics to geo-economics. Dr Moeed said failure to attain peace in Afghanistan was the most immediate challenge facing the SCO today. As a country historically most affected by developments within Afghanistan, Pakistan was fully committed to supporting a stable, peaceful, sovereign, and united Afghanistan at peace with itself and with the neighbours, he added. “It is our firm view that a negotiated political settlement that is Afghan-led and Afghan-owned is the only way to achieve this desired outcome”, a press release quoted the adviser as saying. He cautioned against spoilers, both within and outside Afghanistan. Unfortunately, not everyone in the region, who professed to prefer peace in Afghanistan, did so in reality, he added. The adviser said Pakistan could not allow the Afghan soil to be used against it. He apprised the meeting about Pakistan’s success in fighting the Covid-19 pandemic, stressed the need to counter the pandemic’s negative economic impact and highlighted Prime Minister Imran Khan’s efforts to champion the Global Initiative for Debt Relief. Dr Yusuf also informed his counterparts about Pakistan’s efforts in the area of climate change. He said Pakistan was a low carbon emitting country but one of the most vulnerable to climate change. “Prime Minister Imran Khan has made climate change his top priority and has emerged as one of the leaders of the Global South on environment,” he added. During the meeting, the two discussed issues of mutual interest and expressed satisfaction on the progress of Pakistan-Russia bilateral relations, while sharing serious concern about the evolving situation in Afghanistan. A joint protocol of Secretaries of the Security Council of the SCO was signed at the meeting.