The Rus­sian Role in the Shang­hai Co­op­er­a­tion Or­ga­ni­za­tion

Dr. Ah­mad Rashid Ma­lik Pro­fes­sor. De­part­ment of In­ter­na­tional Re­la­tions, Pre­ston Univer­sity, Is­lam­abad.

The Diplomatic Insight - - Contents -

Rus­sia is both western and eastern power. The Shang­hai Co­op­er­a­tion Or­ga­ni­za­tion (SCO) solely de­pends on Rus­sian and Chi­nese wis­dom. First they came up to dis­solve their border dis­putes un­der the Shang­hai Five that was cre­ated on 26 April 1996. Later they trans­formed the Shang­hai Five into the Shang­hai Co­op­er­a­tionOr­ga­ni­za­tion (SCO), which was evolved in Shang­hai on 15 June 2001 amongst Rus­sia and China and four Cen­tralAsian coun­tries – Kaza­khstan, Kyr­gyz­tan, Ta­jik­istan and Uzbek­istan, to counter ter­ror­ism, fun­da­men­tal­ism, sep­a­ratism, to pro­mote hu­man­i­tar­i­an­ism, to erad­i­cate drug traf­fick­ing, and to pro­mote eco­nomic co­op­er­a­tion among its mem­bers. The SCO is al­most half of hu­man­ity and of­fers so­lu­tions to pro­mote se­cu­rity. The SCO is the rise of Asian gi­ants (Rus­sia and China) and to de­fend a host of smaller States. The SCO is a sig­nif­i­cant to coun­ter­weight Western in­flu­ences in the large Eurasian con­ti­nent af­ter Rus­sia and China de­vel­oped con­sen­sus. Rus­sia has billed the SCO as a re­gional al­ter­na­tive to the Amer­i­can-led North At­lantic Treaty Or­ga­ni­za­tion (NATO). Over the years, the SCO has be­come a se­cu­rity bloc of Rus­sia and China along with like-minded stake­hold­ers. Both Rus­sia and China use SCO as a ve­hi­cle to de­fend their in­ter­ests against theWest. As largest coun­tries, both Rus­sia and China bind them­selves in com­mon goals to re­spond to Western in­flu­ences and chal­lenges they con­front from time to time. Later, In­dia, Pak­istan, Iran and Mon­go­lia joined the SCOas Ob­servers by 2005, while Be­larus and Sri Lanka be­came Di­a­logue Part­ners by 2009. Afghanistan comes un­der the SCO-Afghanistan Con­tact Group since 2005. Pak­istan along with In­dia and Iran want to be­come full Mem­bers. With Rus­sian and Chi­nese sup­port they are con­sid­ered as the fa­vorites for get­ting full mem­ber­ship of the SCO by 2014. Turkey is be­ing pro­posed as a Di­a­logue Part­ner and will likely be ap­proved at the 2012 Sum­mit in Bei­jing. This ever-in­creas­ing strength of the SCO in­di­cates its vi­tal­ity in the re­gion. Se­ri­ous chal­lenges are be­ing faced by the or­ga­ni­za­tion. Whether the west would like or dis­like, the Sco­role would be­come much paramount af­ter ex­it­ing of NATO forces from Afghanistan by 2014. With out the co­op­er­a­tion of the SCO, it would be difficult for the re­main­ing NATO and US armies to meet se­cu­rity chal­lenges.

The or­ga­ni­za­tion aims at deal­ing with new crises emerg­ing in the re­gion. The SCO mem­bers might be in co­op­er­a­tion or against the de­ci­sions of the Chicago Sum­mit (20-21May 2012) and other moots etc. This means that Rus­sia along with China and other mem­bers of SCO are ris­ing to full oc­ca­sion to of­fer their wis­dom to global and re­gional con­flicts. Look­ing at his­tory and past ex­pe­ri­ences, Rus­sia has been care­fully em­bark­ing on the lad­der of SCO dur­ing the past decade and ex­pand­ing its in­ter­ests in Cen­tral Asia. The Rus­sian Fed­er­a­tion hosted the 2002, 2003, and 2009 Heads of State of SCO Sum­mits that were held in Saint Peters­burg, Moscow, and Yeka­ter­in­burg. The Fed­er­a­tion also hosted the 2002 and 2005 Heads of Gov­ern­ment Sum­mits of SCO at Saint Peters­burg and Moscow re­spec­tively. The visit of the Rus­sian Pres­i­dent vladimir Putin to Bei­jing in June (2012) would likely to har­ness emerg­ing strate­gic un­der­stand­ing be­tween the two coun­tries, up set by the Bal­lis­tic Mis­sile De­fense Sys­tem (BMD) is­sue es­pe­cially in the Asia-pa­cific re­gion and the Mid­dle East. The United States is bring­ing Ja­pan, South Korea, Aus­tralia, Saudi Ara­bia, Bahrain, and Qatar into the BMD sys­tem. This wor­ries the Rus­sians and Chi­nese. Bei­jing shares the Rus­sian con­cern over the BMD be­cause China's de­fense sys­tem could be more vul­ner­a­ble to the BMD sys­tem and its con­cern could be more se­ri­ous than Rus­sia it­self. Un­der the ban­ner of the SCO, both Rus­sia and China could de­velop a com­mon re­sponse against the BMD sys­tem. To­gether Rus­sia and China could re­spond to the United States AND NATO. This also gives the in­di­ca­tion that the NATO is not the only global se­cu­rity force in the postCold­war era. The SCO could fill the ma­jor global se­cu­rity gap. The fu­ture of the Eura­sia re­gion de­pends on Rus­sia-china co­op­er­a­tion un­der the SCO fo­rum be­cause it is the only rel­e­vant re­gional se­cu­rity or­ga­ni­za­tion. Hardly three months of its ex­is­tence, the or­ga­ni­za­tion was strongly hit by the mil­i­tary so­lu­tion to the afghan con­flict in Septem­ber 2001. This gave a se­ri­ous set­back to the emerg­ing Rus­sianChi­nese part­ner­ship in Cen­tral Asia. It is an­tic­i­pated that the exit of the US and NATO forces from Afghanistan by 2014, would likely to give due im­pe­tus to the SCO be­cause the or­ga­ni­za­tion was be­ing formed as an al­ter­na­tive mul­ti­lat­eral ar­chi­tec­ture to deal with the Eurasian chal­lenges in the 21stcen­tury. The or­ga­ni­za­tion also gave the im­pres­sion that the new world or­der is not a uni­lat­eral since its dis­missal in the early 1990s. The SCO has been cre­at­ing a new bipo­lar world or­der since 2001. The United States and NATO are on one side, and Rus­sia and China are on the other side of the world map. Be­ing a leader for ages, Rus­sia fully un­der­stands Eurasian mul­ti­lat­er­al­ism. Hope Rus­sia would help the SCO mem­bers to re­dress mul­ti­ple is­sues and the Her­culean chal­lenges in the near fu­ture.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Pakistan

© PressReader. All rights reserved.