It was a landmark day for regional cooperation in Eurasia as both India and Pakistan joined the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) formally on Friday.
The Shanghai Cooperation Organisation has now become the world’s largest regional grouping bringing two Asian giants & three BRICS members together in a Central Asian gateway.
Working together SCO countries can make a severe dent in global terror, effectively combat climate change and boost global prosperity.
All round applause just after Astana SCO meet Chair and Kazakhstan President Nursultan Nazarbayev made this announcement.
It took 2 long years of protracted negotiations for 2 neighbors having fought 4 wars with each other in the past to make a simultaneous entry into the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation.
SCO began as the Shanghai 5 in Beijing nearly two decades ago to ensure better border and security coordination between China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan.
It became SCO in 2001 with the addition of Uzbekistan as its 6th member.
Now, in 2017, the number stands at 8 and SCO has become the largest regional grouping in the world.
For an organisation as strong the SCO, Prime Minister Modi brought home the potential of collective action when he addressed other member leaders in the context of terrorism.
Connectivity also found top billing in the PM Modi’s address for boosting trade and investment.
Prime Minister Modi also said that India’s membership will take cooperation between member countries to new heights in multiple spheres, from energy to combating climate change.
He even stressed on the need for respecting each-others’ sovereignty & territorial integrity while addressing all member country leaders including China’s Xi Jingping & Pakistan’s Nawaz Sharif.
In keeping with the occasion where Pakistan also made its SCO entry, Nawaz Sharif welcomed India’s entry into the grouping.
He further said that SCO would emerge as a powerful platform to promote peace, build trust and spur shared prosperity.
Clearly, with over 40% of the world’s population and 20 % GDP, India and Pakistan joining the Shanghai Co-operation Organisation will only add strength to the Eurasian body at the heart of which beats connectivity to energy sources and the path to the Eurasian market.
All the leaders at the SCO Summit agreed that terror and trade can’t go together and there is strong need to counter all forms of terrorism.
Member countries also focused on enhancing economic ties and connectivity without compromising on tackling climate change, sustainable development, prosperity and peace, the shared goals.