Then there were 8: Eurasian powerhouse SCO expands after India & Pakistan join

Hours after Pakistan and India formally joined the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO), a security bloc spearheaded by China and Russian Federation at a summit in Astana, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif told Afghan President Ashraf Ghani that two countries will have to work together to ensure peace and prosperity in the region.

In the meeting at Kazakh capital, Astana, on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO), Xi said the two countries should also cooperate more and provide assistance to each other in meeting the development goals.

"In order to defeat terrorism, all the countries should unite their efforts for fair and meaningful cooperation based on global law", Putin said, adding that social and economic issues that fueled terrorism activities should be addressed. Given the fact that major focus of SCO has been on promoting regional security and tackling effectively the menace of terrorism through coordinated efforts, its decision to embrace Pakistan highlights the realization that Pakistan is part of the solution and not part of the problem.

Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said, "President Putin's efforts will enhance the political and economic scope of the Eurasian belt".

"This incident will not have any necessary connection with the BRI", nor with the summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation, meeting being held in Astana, Hua had said.

Modi thanked Xi for supporting India to join the SCO and said that the two countries should respect each others core interests and appropriately manage differences, according to the Chinese foreign ministry post.

Sharif, whose spoke after Modi, said: "We fully endorse the SCO's resolve to fight the twin evils of terrorism and extremism".

Besides, the two countries should strengthen multilateral consultation, and manage sensitive issues. Jaishankar said that the Chinese leader told the Prime Minister that he himself has seen the movie Dangal. As an Observer, Pakistan worked diligently to promote the objectives of the organization and fulfilled all necessary requirements to gain its full membership.

Sharif further said that terrorism remains a common threat to both Pakistan and Afghanistan.

Since India is now a member of the SCO, it would be able to express its views and get its concerns reflected on the outcome documents of all future meetings and summits of the organisation, sources clarified.

Noting that the SCO is facing new opportunities and challenges, Xi said China and Russian Federation should firmly observe the "Shanghai Spirit", boost solidarity among the SCO members, maintain regional security and stability, and promote pragmatic cooperation.

  • Leroy Wright