India and Pakistan have both joined the Shanghai Cooperation Organization in 2017. Has cooperation between them improved as a result of that (either in the aftermath or maybe during the accession process)? If so, in what areas?

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    A recent example: At the SCO Summit Sept-2022, India and Pakistan have not made any contact even though Pakistan's PM Shehbaz Sharif and FM Bilawal Bhutto were also at the meetings the same time as Indian counterparts. (off-topic) Neither has there been any India-China bilateral.
    – whoisit
    Commented Sep 19, 2022 at 11:45

2 Answers 2


Has cooperation between India and Pakistan improved as result of their both joining the Shanghai Cooperation Organization?


The following is my personal opinion:

According to its origin, SCO is fundamentally a central Asian-based group. Its original purpose was to create a NATO-like alliance between the Central Asian Republic, Russia, and China so that China could cooperate closely with these countries in the military fields. India is the oddest member in this group, which doesn't have any common objective with the other members.

I think India became an SCO member only because Russia convinced China to take them. This is supposedly an effort by Russia not to let India fall into complete US control. Since India joined the group, China also invited Pakistan to preserve the balance. Otherwise, I don't think India is relevant to SCO as their strategic interests and orientation are different. They haven't agreed to any vital proposal from SCO that differs from their preexisting views, principles, and policies about Pakistan.

India will continue to stick out in this organization as the oddest member, much like the UK was in the EU.


To say in a nutshell, no. The thing is, SCO, like BRICS is jus a club, with no much significance on the foreign policy issues of either nations nor any alliance like ideological grouping like say Quad or NATO. Personally conducted talks between some high representatives might be slightly significant but as far as India and Pakistan are concerned, nothing at all.

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