SCO: India s Global and Regional Interests

The origin of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) can be traced back to Shanghai Five which comprised of China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia and Tajikistan. SCO came into existence with the inclusion of Uzbekistan to the group in 2001. SCO was expanded to include India and Pakistan in 2017.

India s Global and Regional Interests

  • SCO s main objective to fight against the three evils of terrorism, separatism and extremism fit perfectly with the Indian objective of containing terrorism originating from its neighbourhood.
  • SCO s counter-terrorism body, Regional Anti Terror Structure (RATS) based at Tashkent will provide access to access to intelligence and information.
  • SCO upholds Shanghai spirit which emphasises harmony, non-interference in others internal affairs, and non-alignment.
  • SCO s membership will aid India to break out of the South Asian paradigm and bolsters India s status as a major pan-Asian player.
  • SCO s areas of cooperation include themes such as economics and culture. This can aid in gaining connectivity to central Asia

SCO provides an opportunity to engage with Pakistan informally which can aid in ensuring cooperation on issues of mutual interest and importance. SCO also provides a window for engagement with China similar to BRICS and can aid in bringing down tensions as witnessed in BRICS Summit last year.