What is significance of Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) towards India's Eurasia Policy?

Published: June 17, 2019

The primary themes which dominated the Shanghai Cooperation Organization�s Summit held at Bishkek this year were terrorism, regional cooperation and the future course of action for Afghanistan. SCO is mainly led by China and Russia in addition to the Central Asian nations like Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan and also Kyrgyzstan. The group included India and Pakistan in 2017. Ever since it has developed as a strategic forum for the Eurasian neighborhood of India. SCO membership has given India an important counter to a few other international groups of which it is a part thereby streamlining its policy of pushing through many multi-alignments. SCO also acts as an important platform for alignments on various issues like trade, connectivity, and security on energy.
As the significance of SAARC stands dwarfed for India, SCO is the only platform via which it can deal with close proximity with Afghanistan and Pakistan. The SCO was marked with absolutely no substantive talks between PM Modi and PM Imran Khan although only usual pleasantries were exchanged. The two countries engage various levels like SCO Anti-Terrorist Structure while Pakistan is heading the efforts to coordinate between SCO and the UN Office on Drugs and Crime.
The most notable aspect of the Summit was the fact that there was no consensus reached on the Indian opposition to the Belt and Road Initiative of China while it found praise by some countries by few nations. The upcoming G-20 Summit will be a real tester for the Indian government�s strategy to balance between the two blocs.

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