NEW DELHI (Sputnik) — Indian government expects to deepen its ties with Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) members after officially joining the group and rules out the possibility that differences in views with China and Pakistan could complicate the SCO work, G.V. Srinivas said.
"That [differences with China and Pakistan] is not a concern for us in the sense that yes, we are part of many bodies and not everyone who is member of that body agrees on everything that is discussed there. SCO is not different to that. We are going there with open mind."
Srinivas pointed out that SCO membership would provide India with opportunities in the fields of infrastructure development, transport, banking, and especially counter-terror partnership, which would include joint exercises and data sharing on extremists and terrorists.
"We hope that when we become a member of [SCO’s Regional Anti-Terrorist Structure] we will be able to benefit from this collaboration in fight against terrorism," Srinivas noted.
He also indicated that SCO is made up of states abundant in natural resources and historically connected to India, and it would be "politically satisfying" for India to become a member of such an organization.
India’s relations with Pakistan have been tense ever since both countries gained independence in 1947, mainly because of the issue of Kashmir, a region that the two countries claim in its entirety and that is currently divided between them. The Indian part of Kashmir suffers from insurgency since the late 1980s. New Delhi claims Pakistan supports the militants, while Islamabad denies the accusations.
India and China also have a border dispute over two major and several small regions which resulted in the 1962 Sino-Indian War.