Friday, August 24, 2012

[Diplomacy] Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) and India

  1. Member States
  2. Should India become a full time member of SCO?
  3. Arguments against joining SCO
  4. Arguments in favor of joining SCO

Introduction: What is SCO?

  • Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO)
  • Intergovernmental organization, consisting of certain of Central  Asian countries.
  • Founded in 2001 in Shanghai.

What does SCO do?

  • For Mutual cooperation to fight again terrorism, separatism and extremism in Central Asia
  • So they help each other in the matters of military cooperation, intelligence sharing, counterterrorism, and joint military exercises – for example Peace Mission 2012 was held in Tajikistan. About 2,000 members of the security forces of the member countries participated

Member States

MembersObserversDialogue Partners
  1. China,
  2. Kazakhstan,
  3. Kyrgyzstan,
  4. Russia,
  5. Tajikistan,
  6. Uzbekistan.
  1. Afghanistan
  2. India
  3. Iran
  4. Mongolia
  5. Pakistan
  1. Belarus
  2. Sri Lanka
  3. Turkey
Central Asia: Political Map
Central Asia: Political Map

Our Foreign Minister SM Krishna (lolz), earlier said that India wants to become a full time member of SCO. Russian Government welcomed this move, and China did not oppose.

Should India become a full time member of SCO?

Arguments against joining SCO

Pakistan sponsored Terror companies

  • China has been trying to use the security mechanism of the SCO for dealing with organisations which are perceived as posing a threat to Beijing and the Central Asian Republics,
  • BUT it does not look upon anti-India organizations sponsored by Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence, or the Afghan Taliban or the Haqqani Network such as theLashkar-e-Tayiba  the Jaish-e-Mohammad, the Harkt-ul-Jihad-al-Islami and the Harkat-ul-Mujahideen, as coming within the ambit of the SCO security mechanism.


  • There would be very little compatibility between our internal security concerns and interests and those of China and Pakistan and it could be counter-productive for us to participate in this mechanism.
  • Moreover, our internal security strategy is based on the principle that except in border areas, the police should be the weapon of first resort and the army the weapon of last resort for internal security (i.e. Naxalites, secessionists in North East and J/K.) But The SCO mechanism operates on the principle that the army should be the weapon of first resort with the police playing only a supportive role. [although I think that’s a better idea given our cops lack the morale and equipment to deal with internal security troubles.]

China the Cyber bully

  • The internal security co-operation mechanism of the SCO is now proposed to be extended to the area of cyber security. But The main threats to our cyber security will arise from China. It will not be in our interest to participate in any connectivity and inter-operability mechanism relating to cyber security with China!

Arguments in favor of joining SCO

  • Indian interest in International North-South Transport Corridor (connects Mumbai in India, Bandra Abbas port in Iran and another port known as Bandar Anzali in northern Iran on the Caspian Sea coast- from Indian perspective, this route is shorter than the existing Suez Canal and the Mediterranean Sea). This route will help India to bypass Pakistan to reach Central Asia.
  • India is looking for energy cooperation in the region TAPI strategic link in its extended neighborhood and South Asia.  (already discussed in earlier article)
  • SCO is promising alternative regional platform to discuss the rapidly changing Afghan situation [because UNO is heavily dominated by USA, and in UNSC, India doesn’t enjoy Veto power]
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