India to join SCO in Astana

As PM goes to Kazakh city, plan to work with China, Pakistan to combat terror

Published - June 07, 2017 10:42 pm IST - NEW DELHI

Tackling terror:  Narendra Modi with Nawaz Sharif at the SCO summit held in Ufa, Russia, in 2015.

Tackling terror: Narendra Modi with Nawaz Sharif at the SCO summit held in Ufa, Russia, in 2015.

India says it is willing to join hands with Pakistan and China to combat terrorism.

Announcing Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s weekend visit to Astana, Kazakhstan, where India will be admitted as a full member of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO), the External Affairs Ministry said the fight against terrorism was “incumbent” on all.

“We are going to Astana to become full member [of SCO], and we know the obligations and functions of the member states,” said Ministry spokesperson Gopal Baglay explaining that counter-terror collaboration with members of the SCO, such as China and Pakistan, was also a possibility.

“We participate with many countries, including Pakistan, in the U.N. peacekeeping operations, and terrorism is a fight which is incumbent on all countries,” Mr. Baglay said.

Trade and terrorism

The comment is significant as full membership will require India to coordinate with member countries both on the trade front in the SCO headquarters in Beijing and at the Regional Anti-Terrorist Structure (RATS) based in Tashkent. Pakistan, which has been an observer of the SCO like India, will join as full member in this summit meeting.

“All aspects of the SCO will be available for participation of all member countries. So if there is a partnership on counter-terror exercise, then it is unlikely that India will stay out of it. As a member, India will be invited ... and in fact, will have a right to participate. India will determine the conditions of that exercise as a member,” G.V. Srinivas, Joint Secretary in charge of the Eurasia division in the Ministry, said on Wednesday.

The official said this cooperation was part of the obligation of membership.

The spokesperson highlighted that the SCO would be an institutional forum where India would cooperate with the neighbours of Afghanistan to establish peace and stability and hold consultation on counter-terror.

Under the framework of the SCO, an annual counter-terror exercise is hosted by a member country. Mr. Srinivas said that as a member country, India could consider participating in it.

Major point

Cooperation on counter-terrorism is expected to emerge as a major point of India’s exchange with SCO. Mr. Srinivas said India hoped to benefit from both the wings of the SCO — trade and security.

“SCO has broadly two legs of cooperation. One is trade, banking, connectivity, energy and the second is the fight against terrorism under RATS. Both are of relevance and great importance to us. Joint exercises, data bank of terrorists and a lot of coordination. We hope to benefit from these,” the official said

The Joint Secretary said India’s engagement with SCO would be determined by the 38 documents that it had signed with the multilateral organisation on a whole range of issues.

0 / 0
Sign in to unlock member-only benefits!
  • Access 10 free stories every month
  • Save stories to read later
  • Access to comment on every story
  • Sign-up/manage your newsletter subscriptions with a single click
  • Get notified by email for early access to discounts & offers on our products
Sign in


Comments have to be in English, and in full sentences. They cannot be abusive or personal. Please abide by our community guidelines for posting your comments.

We have migrated to a new commenting platform. If you are already a registered user of The Hindu and logged in, you may continue to engage with our articles. If you do not have an account please register and login to post comments. Users can access their older comments by logging into their accounts on Vuukle.