The intro must discuss in detail the organizational structure, aims and mandate of Shanghai Cooperation Organization and mention India’s involvement in it.
Discuss the pros and cons of progress as being a member of SCO. e.g – The 21st-century power dynamics are different with the rise of China, a continental power that is willing to partake in the oceanic order designed by the West, but is insistent on reviving land routes for continental connectivity; India can ill afford to ignore the developments the Eurasian landmass, where Pakistan is fast emerging as the “zipper of pan Eurasian integration”; India cannot imagine itself being left out of these continental connectivity initiatives in its neighbourhood etc.
Based on your discussion, form a fair and a balanced conclusion on the given issue. Try to put forward a balanced viewpoint taking all the facets and complexities in mind.
Shanghai Cooperation Organisation or SCO is a Eurasian political, economic and security organisation. SCO grew out of Shanghai Five founded in 1996. It is the largest regional organisation in the world in terms of geographical coverage and population and has become very powerful and influential.
Membership of the SCO help India in following ways-
For India, two important objectives are counter-terrorism and connectivity. These sit well with the SCO’s main objective of working cooperatively against the “three evils”.
India wants access to intelligence and information from SCO’s counter-terrorism body, the Tashkent-based Regional Anti Terror Structure (RATS).
A stable Afghanistan too is in India’s interest, and RATS provides access to non-Pakistan-centred counter-terrorism information there.
Connectivity is important for India’s Connect Central Asia policy. Energy cooperation dominates its interest – and it’s in China’s neighbourhood. But India will also have to deal with an assertive China, which will push its Belt and Road Initiative during the summit.
SCO membership also bolsters India’s status as a major pan-Asian player, which is boxed in the South Asian paradigm.
Global geopolitics play out for SCO and India-
The US’ power struggle with China, exit from the Iran nuclear deal JCPOA (affects India’s oil imports from Iran), and adversarial attitude towards Russia (affects India’s defence purchase like S-400) have forced India to choose sides.
While Washington’s stance against Islamabad after the Pulwama attack was evidence of its support to New Delhi, India has had a strained relationship with China after the Doklam stand-off, followed by attempts to reset relations in Wuhan.
In the SCO, India’s sitting down with less-than-free regimes, Russia and China has always had the West worried. India, however, has always been tactful in not aligning with these countries on governance issues.
What draws India to SCO is the “Shanghai spirit”, which emphasises harmony, non-interference in others’ internal affairs, and non-alignment. The bottomline is that it helps India keep all options open in terms of international partnerships.
SCO in light of India-Pakistan or India-China relationship-
In the absence of the SAARC summit, the SCO summit gives an opportunity for Indian and Pakistani leaders to meet informally, on the sidelines.
Both sides have the obligation not to bring in bilateral disputes, but can cooperate on issues of mutual interest and importance. Signing off on joint counter-terrorism exercises will be a new form of engagement between the two militaries.
With China, it is yet another opening, like the BRICS summit, to bring down tensions, and ahead of the next informal summit in October in India.
SCO provides a very good opportunity to India to connect with the leadership of Central Asian countries and that a very big take away.
India has a good record of economic growth and handling problem which is a problem of other countries which lays foundation to huge foreign investment.