The entry of India and Pakistan into China-led SCO may help boost anti-terrorism cooperation between the two countries and provide a platform to resolve their differences, the official media here said on Wednesday. India and Pakistan are expected to be admitted into the six-member Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) during its next summit to be held at Astana, the capital of Kazakhstan, in June this year.
“In a bid to become members of the SCO, India and Pakistan, which have a long-time rivalry concerning the issues of anti-terrorism and Kashmir, will need to sign a number of documents and pledge to perform in accordance with the SCO laws, including the SCO Member States Agreement on Border Defence Cooperation that was signed in 2015,” an article in the state run Global Times said.
“The entry of the two nations into the SCO may help boost cooperation between India and Pakistan in areas such as infrastructure and anti-terrorism efforts,” the article said.
As per the framework of the SCO, a third party could step in to prevent an outbreak of conflict between the two countries, it said.
“Though New Delhi may try to seek fairly flexible multilateral agreements with the SCO countries, both India and Pakistan will have to adhere to the principle and basic framework under the SCO to strengthen security and anti-terrorism cooperation,” it said.
“The hostility between India and Pakistan is unlikely to be dispelled in a short time, but the SCO is likely to provide a fresh platform for the two nations to gradually resolve disputes,” it said.
“Additionally, a third party could step in to mediate the situation within the SCO framework to prevent an outbreak of conflicts between Pakistan and India,” it said.
The SCO, which is headquartered in Beijing, focuses mostly on security related issues like counter-terrorism cooperation in Central Asia.
It is comprised of China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan as full members. Afghanistan, Belarus, India, Iran, Mongolia and Pakistan have observer status.
Its 2015 summit in Ufa, Russia, the SCO formally adopted a resolution which started the procedures to admit India and Pakistan into the grouping.
“The entry of the two nations into the SCO is likely to contribute to the stability and security of the region, thus boosting economic growth and speeding up regional economic integration,” it said.
The admission of India and Pakistan into the SCO may accelerate the South Asia’s highway network construction, it said.
“Improving Pakistan’s transportation infrastructure is a major aspect of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) and hopefully the entry of Pakistan and India into the SCO will bring new momentum to the development of the CPEC,” it said.
“Pakistan’s entry will also likely offer convenience for attracting new partnerships into the CPEC,” it said.