After winning re-election, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi chose the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) for his first multilateral engagement. India has used the 2019 Bishkek summit to balance its approach between conflicting interests of the US and China. It stands to gain from the SCO’s peace process in Afghanistan, the decision to use local currencies for trade and the organization’s stand on terrorism.
However, India missed out on energy and connectivity opportunities emanating from the SCO, along with a chance to break ice with Pakistan.
The June 14-15 event was Modi’s third SCO summit. Having begun as the Shanghai Five in 1996, and renamed as the SCO in 2001, this organization has become a pivot to security and geopolitical issues of the Eurasian region. India’s participation in the organization is marked by its interest in energy and connectivity projects in Eurasia.
This article was originally published in Asia Times. Click to read the full article