Pakistan and India Accession to SCO: Future Prospects and Challenges

Roshan Taj HUMAYUN
12 January 2016
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Owing to geographic proximity among the member states namely China, Russia, the five Central Asian republics (CARs) and recently during the annual summit, in July 2015, the strategic alignment of India and Pakistan being a key player in South Asia into the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) could be interpreted as sign of a counter-balancing the West in general and the US hegemony in particular. While the membership applications of India and Pakistan, which previously have observer status, were rejected in 2011 because of the tension between them, the decision to accept them this time was announced even before the summit, indicating the urgency the members feel about their positioning in global affairs. Likewise, new countries are seeking to join SCO not because of the great prospects, but for fear of falling behind the powers of continental Eurasia. That is the main motivation for India and Pakistan to enhance the SCO outreach on the broader agenda of creating a democratic, equitable international political and economic order under the umbrella of multi-polar world.

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