Conflict & Justice

Shanghai Cooperation invites India to join

The six-nation Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO), which could play an important role in stabilising Afghanistan after the drawdown of foreign troops, opened its doors for India's membership at its 10th anniversary summit, reports the Hindu.

Lauding the SCO for its “constructive and forward looking role in contributing towards peace in Afghanistan,'' Indian foreign minister S.M. Krishna said he hoped that by becoming involved with the SCO, Afghanistan could become the geo-strategic bridge between Central and South Asia as well as a trade and transit hub, the paper said. Afghanistan is poised to be upgraded from Dialogue Partner to Observer that would give it access to all discussions of importance at the SCO.

The SCO consists of Russia, China and four Central Asian countries (barring Turkmenistan). India, Pakistan and Iran are among those with Observer status. All these nations virtually ring Afghanistan that shares ethnic linkages with most of them.