SCO: A Crumbling Melting Pot
On April 26, 1996, in Shanghai of the Treaty on Deepening Military Trust in Border Regions,
Kazakhstan, China, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, and Tajikistan formed the Shanghai Five. Both Moscow and Beijing viewed the then newly independent Central Asian republics not only as a cause of concern but also as an opportunity.
Within a year of its formation, the bloc signed the Treaty on Reduction of Military Forces in Border Regions, yet the world paid little attention until 2001 when Uzbekistan joined the grouping, whereby it was renamed the Shanghai Cooperation
Organization. The June 2005 summit in Astana, Kazakhstan, caught international attention as Mongolia, Pakistan, Iran, and India were granted observer status.
Ever since, the member states
have interacted trough focused groups on transportation, energy, telecommunications, military, and commerce. Though the organization’s prime focus is combating threats from non-state actors, including terrorism, separatism, and drug trafficking, However,
with China’s increasing business poaching in Central Asia, Russian interest is transforming the SCO’s outlook. Russia started digressing towards EEF and got India involved in everything related to Central Asia.
What Russia had begun in 2014, when it was cordoned off from European markets, given Crimean Crisis, it had needed the SCO to further its economic interests, Look East was the order of the day.
However, since BRI based infiltration of China in its backyard and increasing Chinese interference in Political space of these Central Asian Republics, saw Russia involving and appreciating
the Indian balance from the south. Russia needed India, in a balancing act, and Pakistan, in a world class crass act, destroyed that, much to Russia’s annoyance.
In shadows of another FATF debacle
With the familiar dark clouds and sword of FATF blacklisting hanging ominously over
its head, Pakistan’s Senate on Wednesday defeated yet another bill that sought to empower agencies investigating terrorist operations, in compliance with the requirements for terror financing watchdog FATF.
With this, the Upper House of parliament has now voted against four out of seven legislations moved by the Imran Khan government to comply with the Financial Action Task Force.
Despite human rights groups criticizing these legislations, apparently aimed at suspecting misuse by Pakistan Army, for persecuting innocent Baluchi and Pashtun separatists, this is a setback to the Pakistani government’s efforts, to get Pakistan
out of FATF’s ‘grey list’ and to prevent it from going further down to a ‘black list’.
Pakistan government and Pakistan Army has no stand in its home soil.
Increasingly facing discontent over ailing economy since last four years, squeezed due to FATF sword further slashing at the economic health, with Chinese profits in CPEC going back to Chinese banks, they turn towards coarse pranks of Map Doctoring, hurling
abuses on PM Modi and making false claims on Kashmir.
Little they realise, getting few cheers here and there, from a controlled and subjugated media and cheers from their Radical Islamist
Mullah based support group, does not hide the discontent public is harboring.
At other end of the stick, Pakistan’s stupidity has got it crossing path with Russian Bear. While
Russia has been openly snubbing Pakistan since last two years, this has gone a bit too far, against the Russian interests. President Putin’s payback, shall be neither slim nor smooth, for Pakistan. Pakistan has not done any harm to India, but has ventured
out with its snooty nose, right into the bear’s territory.
16 Sep 2020/Wednesday Written by: Fayaz