The bilateral relations among the members need to be overcome first for making SCO a successful regional grouping. Comment. Also, discuss the role that SCO can play in enhancing India’s interest in the Eurasian region.

The Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) is an economic, political and military organisation among the eight nations of Asia, out of which 5 are from Central Asia.

To become successful it needs to overcome the bilateral differences:

  • Problems between India and Pakistan & India and China.
  • Disputes among the central Asian countries.
  • China’s aggressive belt and Road initiative is limiting the effectiveness of India at SCO.
  • Issue of terrorism and lack of consensus on role of Pakistan in promoting terrorism in India.
  • Further the issue of radicalisation and spread of sharia in central Asia.

Geopolitical calculations:

  • Countries need SCO as an agency to promote cooperation in Asia, especially Central Asia and not just to further their own economic interests.
  • Collective economic development should be the goal rather than triumphing geopolitical priorities.
  • Countries like India, Pakistan and China needs to come forward and resolve their differences for success of SCO.

SCO can play a role in enhancing India’s interests:

  • Increasing trade and Indian presence in the region.
  • A strategic partnership in oil, gas, etc as the Eurasian region is energy rich.
  • To interact with the Diaspora of Indians residing in the Eurasian region.
  • To build new lanes of transport and communication, e.g. Ashgabat Agreement, INSTC corridor.
  • Using Eurasian region to contain China and Pakistan.

The Eurasian region holds a key position in India’s foreign policy. The SCO can play a bigger role in advancing India’s interests in the region.

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