SCO offers new way to tackle Pak-India issue

  • Cui says Islamabad, New Delhi should exchange ideas, strengthen contacts and engage in frequent meetings

BEIJING: Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) could prove to be a new and effective method in resolving disputes between Pakistan and India, said Cui Hongjian, director of the Department for European Studies at the China Institute of International Studies.

SCO is a regional body incorporating two members, with Pakistan and India becoming members only last year, the organisation as a whole has seen it grow from six members to eight in the last year.

Cui said that the first priority of the summit would be to deal with new issues brought on by enlargement and he focused specifically on problems between the two South Asian neighbours – Pakistan and India. Historically, he said that there have been long-term disputes between Pakistan and India as a result of border issues and sectarianism.

Although he thought that the SCO could play an important role in resolving them, he did not think there was any immediate short term solution. Cui argued that the SCO’s basic principles of mutual trust, mutual benefit and mutual respect, should create a healthy and encouraging diplomatic culture.

“A culture that could bring great benefits to its members and contribute to dispute resolution between all the member states. In this case, the SCO should aid Pakistan and India to exchange ideas, and strengthen contacts through frequent meetings of senior officials and leaders,” he said.

Cui stressed the positive potential of the SCO membership, saying it would be helpful to regional peace and citizens would certainly be the main beneficiaries. He said that the importance of the SCO in fostering a healthy Sino-Russian relationship should contribute to world peace and stability.