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SCO dealt with bilateral issues UPSC NOTE

 


  • India and Pakistan became observers of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) in 2005 and became full members in 2017.

  • Despite the strained bilateral relations and the absence of ties, talks, and trade between India and Pakistan since 2014, both countries have actively participated in all meetings of the SCO's three councils: Heads of State, Heads of Government, and Council of Foreign Ministers.

  • The SCO provides a platform for India and Pakistan to engage with each other, even though they accuse each other of cross-border terrorism in other forums.

  • Within the SCO-Regional Anti-Terrorist Structure, the armed forces of India and Pakistan participate in joint military exercises and anti-terrorism drills.

  • The SCO has not only facilitated discussions between India and Pakistan but has also played a role in enabling talks between India and China regarding the border issue on the Line of Actual Control (LAC).


Significance

  • Iran's induction into the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) holds significant importance due to recent shifts in the organization's focus towards connectivity in the region, in addition to stability and security.

  • For India, which has established its connectivity strategy through Iran's Chabahar port and the International North South Transport Corridor, Iran's inclusion in the SCO is a crucial milestone.

  • Iran's presence in the SCO ensures support for India's efforts to bypass land-based trade routes through Pakistan, which has impeded transit trade for India.

  • The induction of Iran also enables Central Asian states, which are double landlocked, to explore multimodal trade routes via Afghanistan to ports in both Pakistan and Iran.

  • India can engage in trade with the region while remaining separate from China's Belt and Road Initiative.

  • Furthermore, Iran's inclusion in the SCO strengthens India's push for an end to terrorism and safe havens, considering Iran's historical closeness to India and its own experiences with terrorism stemming from Pakistan and Afghanistan.

  • However, India may face challenges in openly supporting Iran due to the increasing perception of the SCO as an "anti-West" forum and Iran's ongoing sanctions, as well as allegations of Iran supplying weapons to Russia.

  • Additionally, with the expected induction of Belarus into the SCO next year, the forum's image as an "anti-West" platform may further solidify, posing difficulties for India's balancing act as it strengthens ties with the Quad alliance.


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Learnerz IAS | Concept oriented UPSC Classes in Malayalam: SCO dealt with bilateral issues UPSC NOTE
SCO dealt with bilateral issues UPSC NOTE
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