Astana: Welcoming India and Pakistan into the SCO, China today dismissed apprehensions that their differences could disrupt the unity of the grouping saying its charter strictly prohibits members to bring their bilateral hostility into the organisation.
“As a founding member of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO), we are very happy about the membership of India and Pakistan,” China’s Assistant Foreign Minister Kong Xuanyou said at a ceremony at the SCO headquarters here to formally admit the two nations as new members of the grouping.
China, a dominant member of the now eight-member group, hosts the headquarters of the organisation. The SCO headquarters held a ceremony today to hoist the flags of India and Pakistan. Indian Ambassador to China Vijay Gokhale and his Pakistan counterpart Masood Khalid attended the ceremony which included jointly beating a huge SCO cooperation drum heralding the admission of their respective countries into the grouping.
India and Pakistan were formally admitted+ as members at Kazakhstan capital Astana at the SCO summit held on June 8-9. For his part, Khalid said “it is important that India and Pakistan have joined the region.”
We are part of the region. As far as Pakistan is concerned we will make all possible efforts to promote peace and stability in the region and work together as active partners within the SCO to pursue common objectives of development, peace and security. I think historic day that way,” he told.
About the utility of SCO to address contentious issues between India and Pakistan, the Pakistan’s envoy said, “I hope so. It provides a multilateral platform where both of our countries will be there. They will be represented. There will be opportunities for interaction.”