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India, Pak to become SCO members soon

India and Pakistan will soon become member countries of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO). This was revealed by the Russian President, Vladimir Putin’s Special Representative for the SCO affairs, Bakhtiyer Khakimov, in a three-city video conference-based media interaction. Russia has recently been elected as the rotating president of the organisation.

Khakimov said: “Pakistan and Iran had both applied for membership in 2006. We have problems in getting Iran into the fold because we are hindered by a rule that says there should be no UN sponsored sanctions against any country of the SCO.”  India had, since 2005 been a observer at the SCO that had become an organisation led by China and Russia building a bridge with the Central Asian Republics (CARs). Answering a question about whether SCO as an organisation are a regional security organisation, Khakimov stated: “We are a versatile organisation. Though we discuss political and security issues more actively, we are an original structure for anti-terrorism in Tashkent. We, for example, have the meetings of the defence ministries more regularly.”

But he also did not fail to mention that the SCO does not play the role of a military organisation. Afghanistan’s then president, Hamid Karzai, was also the co-chairman of the SCO summit in 2004. “The organisation wants to be a optimal forum for peaceful evolution of the situation of Afghanistan. But we are not into interfering in military matters.” Khakimov, still, did not fail to consider the terrorism situation out of Afghanistan that could impact on many of the CARs. “The Islamic State is creating a presence in the northern parts of Afghanistan, and are also merging with the Afghan Taliban.”

He said that, “The SCO believes that Afghan situation be settled by the UN. We also call the CAR, a SCO territorial area.” This meant effectively that like in the Balkans with countries like Georgia and Ukraine, the Central Asian countries are also liable to be provided Russian security embrace in case of an emergency.
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