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India-Pakistan territorial dispute obstacle to SCO membership

Posted by seumasach on June 16, 2011

People’s Daily

16th June, 2011

The unsolved territorial problem between India and Pakistan is the main barrier to their accession to the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), a source from the Russian delegation told Interfax here Wednesday.

“This factor is certainly a major obstacle to these countries becoming SCO members,” the source said.

“For a number of states that are observers in the SCO but want to become members, namely for India and Pakistan, further integration in the SCO is related precisely to having this territorial problem,” the source said.

India and Pakistan, which now have observer status in the SCO, have applied for the full membership of the regional group and that has been discussed within the organization.

The source said there is also another side to the issue as India and Pakistan’s intention stimulates the settlement of their territorial disputes, said the report.

“In this sense, the SCO is playing an irreplaceable role because it stimulates and encourages direct and more intensive talks on all outstanding issues,” he said.

The territorial dispute between India and Pakistan over the Kashmir region has remained unsolved for decades. It is one of the most significant controversial issues in the two nations’ relationship.

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