One minute read. Written by I Kid You Not Team
The SCO, or the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO – also called Shanghai Pact, is an alliance (something like a group) of some European and Asian countries. It was founded in June 2002 (though it became operational in September 2003) in Shanghai, China. The original countries part of this were China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan. India and Pakistan joined SCO as full members on 9 June 2017. So now there are 8 countries in all.
Countries often make such agreements for many reasons. The main objectives of the SCO are to:
- Strengthen relations among member states
- Promote cooperation in things like economics and trade, work together in science and technology, cultural and educational areas, as well as in energy, transportation, tourism, and environmental protection
- To safeguard peace in the region
exercises are regularly done among the members. The idea is to together fight terrorism
and other external threats, and also to maintain regional peace and stability.
There is a meeting (called summit) every year between the member nations.
Where is the Summit this year?
This year the SCO summit is in India. For this India will be inviting all the eight members, as well as four observer states and other international partners. This includes Pakistan.
Prime Minister of Pakistan Imran Khan may or may not attend this – it is not certain yet. Usually, the foreign ministers of SCO member nations attend the meetings. Sometimes, the Prime ministers also take part. In India’s case, the foreign minister participates in the meeting of the Heads of Governments and the prime minister attends the meeting of SCO Presidents.
The Summit is at the end of the year. If he does come, it will be Mr. Khan’s first visit to India after becoming the Prime Minister in the PM in August 2018. India and Pakistan’s relations have undergone a lot of tension recently – especially after the attack in Pulwama in February 2019, which was carried out by a group called Jaish-e-Mohammed (Pakistan supports this group). It had led to the death of 40 of India’s CRPF personnel.
CRPF stands for Central Reserve Police Force and it is India’s largest Central Armed Police Force. The CRPF’s main responsibility is to help the State/Union Territories in police operations and to maintain law and order and fight terrorism.