SCO ratifies resolution on India, Pakistan membership process

 The Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) on Friday ratified a resolution to commence the process of granting India and Pakistan full membership and passed a comprehensive blueprint for the bloc`s development in the next decade.

IANS| Last Updated: Jul 10, 2015, 21:02 PM IST

Ufa: The Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) on Friday ratified a resolution to commence the process of granting India and Pakistan full membership and passed a comprehensive blueprint for the bloc`s development in the next decade.

The leaders of the SCO states ratified the resolution on starting the procedures of granting India and Pakistan full membership of the organization, according to a declaration issued after the 15th SCO summit held in Ufa, capital of Russia`s Bashkortostan Republic, Xinhua news agency reported.

The SCO also elevated Belarus to the status of observer from dialogue partner, and took in Azerbaijan, Armenia, Cambodia and Nepal as new dialogue partners, read the document.

Meanwhile, the leaders approved the SCO Development Strategy until 2025, which set targets and tasks for the organisation`s development in the upcoming 10 years.

Analysts said that with its expansion, the SCO would provide a platform for broader economic and security cooperation within the Eurasian region.

Both India and Pakistan are challenged by terrorism, separatism and extremism. Their entry into the SCO would be a positive step for the two countries to improve domestic security situation, as the rich experience accumulated by the bloc would help them tackle the "three evil forces", said Chen Yurong, a senior research fellow at the China Institute of International Studies.

India and Pakistan currently are observers of the SCO. India formally applied for full SCO membership at the Dushanbe summit in 2014, and Pakistan was one of the first countries to apply for full membership in 2006.