Dr. Zafar Nawaz Jaspal |
The Shanghai Cooperation Organization has gradually emerged as an essential global geopolitical and geo-economic alliance. Its’ Heads of State Council Meeting held in the Kyrgyz capital Bishkek on June 13-14.
Prime Minister Khan, while addressing the Summit, recommended trading in local currencies and improving cooperation in combating the menace of terrorism. Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) is a significant multinational Eurasian political, economic and security alliance which is struggling to combat the menace of radicalized militancy and simultaneously promoting the Shanghai Spirit, which embodies mutual trust, mutual benefit, equality, mutual consultations, respect for cultural diversity and common development among the member states.
The continuity of tension between India and Pakistan is frustrating because both have been confronting many common threats and challenges.
The Organization has eight permanent members — China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, India and Pakistan. Four observer states — Afghanistan, Belarus, Mongolia and, Iran, plus six dialogue partners: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Cambodia, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Turkey. According to Article 1, the SCO members’ necessitate joint counteraction against terrorism, separatism and extremism in all their manifestations. Besides, it is also determined to resolve the border issues agreeably.
Prime Khan shared his perspective on the global political and economic relevance of Pakistan in the emerging geo-economic environment with the Summit participants. He said, “The world stands at a crossroads. For the first time in ages, we are seeing the advent of a multi-polar global order. Epicentres of economic power and growth momentum are shifting eastwards. Regional integration is speeding up.” Elaborating on these pointers, Khan recommended that the SCO “finalize arrangements for trade in local currencies, and set up SCO Fund and SCO Development Bank to catalyse the trans-regional development agenda.”
Khan called upon member states to invest in Pakistan because it provides the vital connectivity between the Middle East and China and Central and South Asia. For the SCO members, it “is an attractive investment destination and a large market endowed with a rich array of resources.” Indeed, the geographic proximities and economic imperatives draw Pakistan closer to SCO. The China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), the flagship project of President Xi’s far-sighted Belt and Road Initiative, will facilitate trade among the members of the Organization.
The SCO has gradually emerged as an essential global geopolitical . Its’ Heads of State Council Meeting held in the Kyrgyz capital Bishkek on June 13-14.
During the recent SCO summit, the members condemned terrorism in all its forms and manifestations. They urge the international community to strengthen global cooperation in efforts against terrorism. On June 14, in his address to the SCO, Prime Minister Khan ensured SCO members that Pakistan will remain actively engaged in SCO’s counter-terrorism initiatives.
Referring to India without explicitly naming it, Khan said, “For its part, Pakistan condemns terrorism in all its forms and manifestations, including State-terrorism against people under illegal occupation.” The Daesh is posing a serious challenge to all the eight members of SCO. Its’ radicalized fighters migrated from Syria and Iraq to Afghanistan. It has been gradually spreading its tentacles in the entire region.
It conducted hit-and-run raids and suicide attacks in Pakistan, Sri Lanka and India during the recent months. It is imperative that the SCO Regional Anti-Terrorist Structure plays its role in improving cooperation between/among the member states’ law enforcement agencies in fighting terrorism in the region. The protracted asymmetrical warfare in Afghanistan has destabilizing spillover effects on its neighbours.
Khan called upon member states to invest in Pakistan because it provides the vital connectivity between the Middle East and China and Central and South Asia.
Therefore, peaceful Afghanistan is in the political and economic interests of SCO. Without ending the asymmetrical warfare in Afghanistan, the elimination of transnational terrorist sanctuaries from the country is unthinkable. It is encouraging that in the Bishkek Declaration of the SCO’s Heads of State Council; the SCO members reaffirmed their willingness to facilitate a political settlement in Afghanistan under the guidance of the people of Afghanistan.
It vindicates Pakistan stance, i.e., instead of military, dialogue process is the key to resolve the Afghanistan problem. Pakistan and India participated as full member but failed to mitigate their current tension. Despite having opportunity to meet on the sidelines of the summit, Indian PM Narendra Modi and Pakistani PM Imran Khan did not formally meet, however, exchanged pleasantries. The continuity of tension between India and Pakistan is frustrating because both have been confronting many common threats and challenges, and without a sustained dialogue process, they cannot resolve them.
India’s hegemonic aspirations thwarted the efficacy of SARRC; however, it could not spoil the functioning of SCO, because Modi was not allowed to carry its unrealistic regional agenda to the meetings of the Organization. To conclude, SCO is a vital forum for regional security and prosperity. Pakistan’s active role in its affairs contributes constructively in combating terrorism and enhancing trade among the members.
Dr. Zafar Nawaz Jaspal is Associate Professor, School of Politics and International Relations, Quaid-i-Azam University, Islamabad. He is also an advisor on Non-Proliferation to SASSI, London and a course coordinator at Foreign Services Academy for the Pakistan Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org. This piece was first published in Pakistan Observer. It has been republished with permission. The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect Global Village Space’s editorial policy.