Is it possible for example for Pakistan or India to join NATO?

What does the NATO treaty say about it?

  • 5
    My $2, I believe the territorial hassle over Kashmir will be a problem, because if a member of NATO is attacked the other should help. Both India and Pakistan consider the whole Kashmir to be them, so this would definitely be a major problem. Not mentioning that both countries aren't bordering any NATO member, but are both bordering China which can potentially be a threat to NATO.
    – Bregalad
    Jun 17, 2015 at 6:50
  • Pakistan was a member of similar Asian military alliances against Communists such as SEATO and CENTO during Coldwar however India refrained from joining such alliances and stuck to Non-Aligned movement
    – NSNoob
    Feb 7, 2017 at 11:08
  • 1
    @Bregalad Same case could be made about Turkey and Greece over Cyprus. Both Turkey and Greece were involved in Cyprus war in 1974 despite being NATO members. The point about China is interesting but doubt it servers either of them to be NATO partners against China as Pakistan is already a strategic partner of both China and NATO while India has strategic partnership with Russia and US to check the Chinese.
    – NSNoob
    Feb 7, 2017 at 11:17
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    @NSNoob Definitely, however if I am not mistaken both Turkey and Greece were part of NATO before the Cyprus incident, so this incident couldn't have blocked NATO membership.
    – Bregalad
    Feb 7, 2017 at 13:59
  • It's possible if NATO agrees before to change its own treaty accordingly, which they could. But then it probably also should change its name to something more descriptive. How about TO, skipping the NA? Okay, they would probably come up with a better name then. Mar 11, 2022 at 10:07

1 Answer 1


Apparently, no, since they are not European States.


The process of joining the alliance is governed by Article 10 of the North Atlantic Treaty, which allows only for the invitation of "other European States," and by subsequent agreements.

The North Atlantic Treaty:

Article 10
The Parties may, by unanimous agreement, invite any other European State in a position to further the principles of this Treaty and to contribute to the security of the North Atlantic area to accede to this Treaty. Any State so invited may become a Party to the Treaty by depositing its instrument of accession with the Government of the United States of America. The Government of the United States of America will inform each of the Parties of the deposit of each such instrument of accession.

  • 5
    I would think “unanimous agreement” and other aspects of the alliance weight even more heavily. After all, the treaty could be amended if there was a will.
    – Relaxed
    Jun 17, 2015 at 15:02
  • @Relaxed, this makes a big sense; however, unanimous agreement does not prevent a new member to join, while the (pretty vague) definition of „European State“ does. Jun 17, 2015 at 16:12
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    @Bregalad, yes, if some evil state attempted to expand to Mid-East (like it tried to do earlier in Afghanistan), there may be a powerful lobby to quickly add India and Pakistan to NATO, and no formal definition of "European State" would be an obstacle. That's what happened to Turkey's NATO membership. However, in current situation, the answer is "No, because of Article 10". Does it make sense? Feb 7, 2017 at 14:26
  • 2
    @Bregalad You both have a point. I have to add however, NATO was not the only alliance of its nature. The US/UK-lead and backed anti-Communist alliances were region-based inherently. For Mid-East specifically, the similar Alliance was CENTO of which Pakistan, Iran and Turkey and Iraq were regional members with UK and US also being on board. Their organizational effectiveness as compared to NATO was poor but It did exist in the similar spirit (If not the capacity) of NATO. There would have been no need to induct Asian states into NATO for any reason. US could just form a new alliance instead.
    – NSNoob
    Feb 7, 2017 at 15:49
  • 3
    USA and Canada are also no european states. Isn´t it more, like the name say, about North Atlantic?
    – convert
    Mar 10, 2022 at 22:17

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