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Conflict or Cooperation? India and Pakistan in Shanghai Cooperation Organisation
journal contributionposted on 2019-04-01, 00:00 authored by Zahid AhmedZahid Ahmed, S Ahmed, S Bhatnagar
South Asia is one of the least integrated regions in the world, with persistent India–Pakistan rivalry acting as a major stumbling block to regional cooperation through the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC). Nonetheless, both India and Pakistan continue to experiment with multilateral arrangements and both became members of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) in 2017. While it is too early to predict the impact of the India–Pakistan rivalry on the SCO, dominant scholarship highlights the likelihood of a negative influence. This paper would like to present an alternative possibility – of the SCO providing opportunities for collaboration in the areas of security and counterterrorism, which in turn may positively influence Indo–Pak relations. Further, the likelihood of the Indo–Pak conflict negatively impacting the SCO is low primarily because, unlike SAARC, the SCO is led by China and Russia, who are actively invested in keeping the SCO influential to serve their key interest in challenging the dominant Western world order.