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So, what if India becomes a member of the SCO?

28 Aug 2014

If India gains full membership of the Shanghai Co-operation Organisation, it could have a huge impact on the international order, argues this report.


At least one news report suggests that a decision was made at the Shanghai Co-operation Organisation’s (SCO) Foreign Ministers’ meeting held in Dushanbe, Tajikistan, at the end of July to offer full membership to India, Pakistan, Iran and Mongolia, all of which currently have observer status. If true, invitations to become members of the organisation will be extended at the next summit to be held in September. While no official announcement has been made by the organisation or any of the countries involved, full membership in SCO could have a major effect on the foreign and security policies of the four countries and a huge impact on the international order.

Key points

  • Reports suggest that India, Pakistan, Mongolia and Iran will be invited to become full members of the Shanghai Co-operation Organisation.
  • If true, India’s membership could have a major impact on its relations with China, the United States and Russia.
  • It could also have a paradigm-changing impact upon India-Pakistan relations, with a radical effect on India’s energy security and its overall economy.
  • For its part, the Government of Pakistan could diminish the Army’s influence on foreign and security policy, reduce its military budget and re-allocate that saving to urgently-required energy, water and food security initiatives.
  • All in all, SCO membership would be a superb opportunity for India’s economic, political and social development, but much thought must go into examining the terms and conditions, not to mention the implications, of that membership.
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