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SCO Set to Expand, Adding India and Pakistan

14 24 23

Soon a pair of new flags are set to rise over the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) headquarters in Beijing. Representing the SCO’s first expansion since its 2001 inception, the ceremony — formally welcoming India and Pakistan to the SCO — will be filled with all of the pomp, circumstance, and heady talk of regional cooperation and swelling camaraderie to which regional observers have grown accustomed over the past few years.

Indeed, the accession of India and Pakistan, coming this week during the SCO’s summit in Astana, is something of a regional watershed. After acting as a Russian, Chinese, and Central Asian talk shop for the better part of the past two decades, the SCO is set to undergo the first formal expansion it’s ever known. The inclusion of both India and Pakistan will not only expand the SCO’s geographic writ, pushing it that much closer to a pan-Asian forum, but, with India’s inclusion, the SCO suddenly finds itself with that much more........

© The Diplomat