Will SCO membership work?

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi was reluctant to answer questions from Pakistani journalists on Friday, after the 17th meeting of the Heads of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) summit.

The prime minister said the membership would help Pakistan combat terrorism, reduce arms race, fight poverty and deal with climate change and water scarcity.

As an SCO member, India is expected to have a bigger say in pressing for concerted action in dealing with terrorism as well as on issues relating to security and defence in the region.

The remarks by the Prime Minister are assumed significant as recently India boycotted Belt and Road Forum held in Beijing where more than 29 world leaders were participants.

Sharif returned from Astana after attending the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) summit on the sidelines of which he met Presidents of Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Afghanistan and Russian Federation.

The two leaders discussed the current situation in Afghanistan with specific reference to fighting terrorism, and promoting peace, stability and reconciliation there.

Speaking at the SCO Summit, Prime Minister Modi on Friday termed terrorism as the main encroacher of the human rights and values. "After 12 years of observership, will get membership of SCO".

Issues related to cooperation in fight against global terrorism, security and situation in the Middle East and Afghanistan were on the agenda the SCO summit.

"We have full faith that SCO would give new push to fight terrorism", Modi added. He also pitched for increasing focus on connectivity between SCO member countries.

The SCO is a political, military and economic alliance comprising Russia, China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan, with India and Pakistan having been admitted to the bloc earlier in the day.

Bothe the leaders discussed the matters related to trade, investment, connectivity, youth and cultural exchanges.

  • Leroy Wright