India, Pakistan SCO membership to be finalised in 2016

Moscow, July 7 (IANS) The membership of India and Pakistan in the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) would be finalised by the next meeting of the leaders in 2016 in India, Russian presidential aide Yuri Ushakov said on Tuesday.

“India and Pakistan are not joining the SCO tomorrow (on Wednesday). The process of engaging them is beginning,” TASS news agency quoted Ushakov as saying in an interview to Rossiya 24 TV channel.

The process of the two countries’ accession to the political, military and economic alliance, which consists of Russia, China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan, kicks off on Friday at the summit in Ufa in Russia.

Ushakov added that inclusion of India and Pakistan in the SCO demands the coordination of a working memorandum. Both the countries also need to sign 28 key documents of the group.

“After that, as we hope, the membership of these two countries in the SCO will be finalised and we will be able to talk about our Group of Eight participants,” Ushakov said.

Meanwhile, media reports said Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi could meet Pakistani Premier Nawaz Sharif on the sidelines of the SCO summit on Friday.

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