India, Pakistan become full members of SCO

A day before, Prime Minister Modi met Chinese President Xi Jinping on the sidelines of the 17th Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) summit and discussed bilateral relations where the latter pointed out that the global environment was undergoing profound and complex changes. Modi further said terrorism is one of the chief violators of human rights and values. By becoming a full SCO member, India now stands to gain in the spheres of security, economy, trade, investment, connectivity and energy co-operation.

"Terrorism is a major threat to humanity", Mr Modi said, adding that there was a need for concerted efforts to defeat terrorism and radicalisation.

Since India is now a member of the SCO, it would be able to express its views and get its concerns reflected on the outcome documents of all future meetings and summits of the organisation, sources clarified.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday in a veiled dig at both Pakistan and China, called for joint efforts to eliminate terrorism even as he emphasised that connectivity projects should not impinge on a country's sovereignty.

The Prime Minister, speaking in the presence of Chinese President Xi Jinping and the Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif among others, also asserted that sovereignty and territorial integrity should be the key factors in such a cooperation.

This was the first-ever expansion of the group since its formation in 2001.

What lent significance to Xi's decision was his meeting with Indian PM Narendra Modi on the sidelines of the summit. The meeting came weeks after the Indian leader refused to dispatch a delegation to attend "One Belt, One Road" summit in Beijing.

India on 9 June 2017 became a full member of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) ending the administrative procedures that started two years ago.

India has been an observer of the SCO meeting since 2005.

Xi urged the SCO to play a bigger role in Afghanistan's peace and reconciliation process, adding that China will assume the SCO rotating presidency after the Astana summit and is willing to maintain close communication and coordination with all parties, including Russian Federation, to achieve further development for the SCO.

  • Jon Douglas