India and Pakistan on Friday became full members of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) summit at Astana. India’s membership was strongly pushed by Russia while Pakistan’s entry into the grouping was backed by China. “India and Pakistan are now members of the SCO. It is a very important moment for us,” Kazakhstan President Nursultan Nazarbayev, who is the current chair of the SCO, said, making the announcement at the Summit of the grouping in Astana.
Expressing his gratitude to the SCO for accepting India’s membership, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said, “Though we have become a member of the SCO only today, our relations with the region have been historic.” He said energy, education, transport, agriculture, security, development and trade would be the top drivers in India’s ties with the SCO. According to Modi, the SCO will also be a powerful partner in the international fight against terrorism.
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