India, Pak to become full SCO members at Astana summit

RSTV Bureau
File Photo: Prime Minister Narendra Modi meeting the President of the People's Republic of China,  Xi Jinping before the BRICS Summit, in Goa on October 15, 2016.

File Photo: Prime Minister Narendra Modi meeting the President of the People’s Republic of China, Xi Jinping before the BRICS Summit, in Goa on October 15, 2016.

India and Pakistan’s admission to the Beijing-backed Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) will be formalised at the grouping’s summit in Kazakhstan next week, China said on Thursday.

“The members states of the SCO are accelerating the MoU procedures with the two countries and everything is going very well,” foreign ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying said.

“We hope India and Pakistan as the full members at the Astana summit (on June 8-9). We also expect the Astana summit will complete the admission procedures for the two countries,” Hua told reporters.

The political and security grouping – headquartered in Beijing – was founded in 2001 and comprises Russia, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan, besides China as full members.

It is mainly aimed at military cooperation between the members and involves intelligence-sharing, counter-terrorism operations in Central Asia.

Afghanistan, Belarus, India, Iran, Mongolia and Pakistan have observer status.