India on 9 June 2017 became a full member of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) ending the administrative procedures that started two years ago. All members described India's accession to SCO as historic and said it would strengthen security and promote regional cooperation among member countries.
In addition to this, Pakistan also became the full member of SCO. India and Pakistan were admitted to the SCO group as observers in 2005 and began the administrative process of joining the organisation in 2015.
This was the first-ever expansion of the group since its formation in 2001. With the accession, the strength of the grouping rose to eight and its footprints expanded from Central Asia to South Asia.
This accession of India and Pakistan into the group was announced by President of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev at the conclusion of the 17th Shanghai Co-operation Organisation (SCO) Summit. While concluding his declaration, President Nazarbayev said that New Delhi has acceded to the set of 38 documents, which covers a range of activities of India in the organisation.
The 17th SCO summit was held in Kazakhstan capital Astana and at its conclusion, the participating leaders called for putting up a united fight against terrorism. All members’ countries of the regional grouping signed 11 documents including one on combating extremism. Astana Declaration was, later, released at the end of the summit.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who attended the summit, thanked SCO member countries for giving support to India's induction. He said India will work together with the grouping for peace and development in the region.
Modi also appealed to the world leaders to fight terrorism in any form. He said concerted efforts are required to find a solution to recruitment, training and financing of terrorists.
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The Prime Minister also strongly pitched for enhancing connectivity without impinging on sovereignty and territorial integrity.
On the sidelines of the summit, Modi held bilateral talks with Chinese President Xi Jinping, Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani and heads of Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan.
Modi also exchanged greetings with his Pakistan counterpart Nawaz Sharif and both leaders were seen sharing the table during lunch at the summit. The Prime Minister returned home in the early hours on 10 June 2017.
Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO)
The Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) is a Eurasian political, economic, and security organisation. Its creation was announced on 15 June 2001 in Shanghai, China by the leaders of China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan. The Shanghai Cooperation Organisation Charter was signed in June 2002 and entered into force on 19 September 2003.
These countries, except Uzbekistan, had been members of the Shanghai Five group, founded on 26 April 1996 in Shanghai. India and Pakistan have joined SCO as full members on 9 June 2017 in Astana, Kazakhstan.
Who: India and Pakistan
Where: Kazakhstan capital Astana
When: 9 June 2017