SCO as a tool for the development of Pakistan-Iran cooperation based on peace in Afghanistan

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SCO as a tool for the development of Pakistan-Iran cooperation based on peace in Afghanistan 09.07.2019 18:07


The Shanghai Cooperation Organization is a new organization, it continues to evolve with the changing world, but in a relatively short time it has confidently declared itself, advocating regional peace, security, development and economic prosperity. More importantly, it creates many opportunities for its members, observer countries and dialogue partners to gather at the same table and derive many benefits from this, and not only at the regional level. Thanks to the effective use of a multilateral and diversified platform, they can come to an understanding on other issues of common concern.

For decades, instability and insurgency in Afghanistan have darkened peace in the region and hindered its development. Afghanistan is not an ordinary problem. To resolve the situation in this country, located in the center of the Eurasian continent, concerted action is required to reconcile the internal factions, as well as to achieve regional consensus. However, despite the sincere desire and serious efforts of regional players, peace in Afghanistan remained a distant dream. There are many reasons for such a sad reality, but the absence of an effective regional platform stands out among them. From the very inception of the SCO, peace and security in Afghanistan have attracted particular attention of the Organization, and its forums, meetings and summits have always been called upon to bring peace to the country.

Pakistan and Iran are seriously interested in an Afghan settlement. Islamabad considers the influence of external players and agents of other countries on Kabul to be the main cause of instability. Tehran, in turn, sees in the intervention of external forces a metaphor of political and military devastation that has reigned in Kabul for several decades. Against this background, the SCO provides Tehran and Islamabad with an excellent opportunity to work together on the situation in Afghanistan and lay the foundation for speeding up bilateral cooperation. Achieving peace in Afghanistan will be a litmus test for Pakistan and Iran, which will show how well they are able to resolve bilateral issues.

Regarding the settlement process in Afghanistan, the search for regional consensus continues, while Russia and China offer new opportunities for regional development and prosperity in the framework of the Belt and Way Initiative and the Big Eurasia project in Moscow. This regional trend can have far-reaching implications for Pakistan and Iran. If they understand how to combine their interests in Afghanistan after the withdrawal of American troops, bilateral cooperation will get a second wind. By synchronizing their interests in the SCO, both countries will be able to use this as an incentive to further accelerate the process of consultation and mutual assistance. In the end, the SCO is able to help Tehran and Islamabad to cooperate in the field of both security and economy, giving them the opportunity to increase mutual trust and build more mutually beneficial and durable bilateral relations.