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SCO meet: Prime Minister Narendra Modi will attend the two-day Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) meet in Kazakhstan’s Astana today. India along with Pakistan are set join the Eurasian political, economic, and military organisation. India has been an observer country at the SCO since 2005. It has been trying to get a full membership for sometime. The Prime Minister himself had said that with India gaining full membership status, SCO will represent over 40 per cent of humanity and nearly 20 per cent of the global GDP. The statement itself indicates what it means for India. Now that Pakistan is also gaining the same status, both the countries will be heading towards an unprecedented joint military excercise, according to Indian Express report. Apart from India, Pakistan, China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan will also attend the summit.

Here are key takeaways

  • According to reports, Indian and Pakistani military officials had earlier served together under the United Nations flag. But by becoming the full-member of SCO, India and Pakistan will conduct military exercises along with China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan. The development assumes significance given the ongoing tesnion between the two neighbouring countries.
  • India and Pakistan will also be part of the Tashkent-based Regional Anti-Terrorism Structure (RATS).
  • Experts believe that there were certain concerns regarding how India and Pakistan will cooperate in the field of counter-terrorism, as per Indian Express. Both states will prefer multilateral rather than bilateral form of military exercises, an expert told Indian Express.
  • Another expert told IE that the joining of India and Pakistan will transform the organisation. There is also a hope that a new push will be given to economic cooperation which is not very active at the moment, as well as to solving the problems of Afghanistan, the report says.
  • For some, SCO will provide a new and important platform for India-Pakistan dialogue.
  • The SCO had initiated the process to make India a member of the bloc during its summit in Ufa in Russia in July 2015 when the administrative hurdles were cleared to grant membership to India and Pakistan. While Russia has been favouring permanent SCO membership for India, China had backed the induction of Pakistan.
  • The SCO was founded at a summit in Shanghai in 2001 by the Presidents of Russia, China, Kyrgyz Republic, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.
  • [Source”timesofindia”]