India and Pakistan to become full members of SCO at its June summit in Kazakhstan

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BISHKEK (TCA) — India’s full-fledged accession to the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) will be formalized in a week — during the SCO summit in Astana, Kazakhstan on June 8-9, Russian President Vladimir Putin said at the meeting with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on June 1 at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF).

India and Pakistan will become full-fledged members of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) at its next summit in June, SCO Secretary-General Rashid Alimov told Sputnik news agency on May 29.

After India and Pakistan’s accession to the SCO, the member states’ population will make up 43-44 percent of the world population and their GDP will total $33 trillion, Alimov stressed, adding that the organization would become trans-regional.

The SCO now comprises as permanent member states Russia, China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan and the documents on India and Pakistan’s accession to the SCO were signed during the organization’s Tashkent summit in June 2016. Afghanistan, Belarus, Iran and Mongolia hold observer status, while Armenia, Azerbaijan, Cambodia, Nepal, Turkey and Sri Lanka have the status of dialogue partners in the SCO.

In the meantime, China Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying on June 1 said that China is hopeful that the entry of India and Pakistan as full-fledged members of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization will rectify the two nation’s bilateral relations, Sputnik reported.

“We hope that India and Pakistan will comply with the SCO Charter, adhere to the idea of good-neighborliness and improve their bilateral relations, as well as give new impetus to the development of the organization,” the ministerial spokeswoman said in response to a question about Beijing’s expectations from the accession of the new members to the SCO.

India and Pakistan have strained relations due to disagreements over the Kashmir region, which has been disputed between the two nations since the partition of India in 1947. Islamabad and New Delhi have gone through three wars over the region, but the conflict has not been resolved.

Sergey Kwan

TCA