IMPORTANT NEWS ANALYSIS
RELATIONS BETWEEN INDIA AND THE SCO
The Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) is a permanent intergovernmental international organization, the creation of which was announced on 15 June 2001 in Shanghai (China) by the Republic of Kazakhstan, the People's Republic of China, the Kyrgyz Republic, the Russian Federation, the Republic of Tajikistan, and the Republic of Uzbekistan. It was preceded by the Shanghai Five mechanism.
The organization has two permanent bodies — the SCO Secretariat based in Beijing and the Executive Committee of the Regional Anti-Terrorist Structure (RATS) based in Tashkent. The SCO Secretary-General and the Director of the Executive Committee of the SCO RATS are appointed by the Council of Heads of State for a term of three years. Rashid Alimov (Tajikistan) and Yevgeny Sysoyev (Russia) have held these positions, respectively, since 1 January 2016.
In June 2017 India and Pakistan were formally inducted as the newest members of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) in the first-ever expansion of the six-member group.
Speculations about the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO)
India’s relations with Pakistan and China have entered a difficult phase has also generated apprehensions in India about the forum creating new pressures on Jammu and Kashmir.
Is the SCO’s objective and India’s expectations same?
Countering extremism, terrorism and separatism is a major objective of the SCO. Sceptics would say the apparent convergence between what the SCO does and India wants may be somewhat deceptive. They would insist that the difficulties encountered by the recent Indian bid to isolate Pakistan in various international forums should caution India against expecting too much on this front at the SCO.
What India should do?
Ø India must persist in the belief that change is inevitable and purposeful diplomacy can allow India to probe for new opportunities for regional security cooperation.
Ø The recent kidnapping and killing of two Chinese nationals in Pakistan underlines the prospect that Beijing can’t forever remain untouched by the terror nurtured by Pakistan.
Issues related to Belt and road initiative
Differences between China’s President Xi Jinping and Prime Minister Narendra Modi could not be masked. If Xi argued that the SCO could become a major vehicle for its ambitious Belt and Road Initiative, Modi articulated India’s reservations, especially the impact of the project on India’s sovereignty in Kashmir.
Effective steps by the Indian PM
The PM appears to have found the right balance between articulating India’s concerns and underlining India’s promise to strengthen inner Asian regionalism. He outlined a realistic approach towards the SCO that combined a strong emphasis on countering terrorism and a readiness to explore win-win solutions for expanding connectivity.