SCO: Towards a new multipolar world order

By Ahmed Bux Jamali

Looking at the changing dynamics of the world politics, with the inception of various multilateral organizations jointly led by mighty regional and great powers, have almost changed the overall perception of international power politics these days. Subsequently, an event of one region is directly or indirectly affecting another region keeping in view the politics, economy and security paradigms.

Out of all those organizations, Shanghai Cooperation Organization is the one, which is rapidly moving towards the creation of the new glory of Multi-polarity in the world. The Shanghai Cooperation Organization is a regional international organization that was founded in 2001 by China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan aiming at the coordination of mutual efforts to combat terrorism, separatism and extremism in Central Asia. With the passage of various result-orientated activities of member states, SCO started addressing economic matters by providing a platform to promote cooperation in energy, transportation, agriculture, telecommunications, science and technology, humanitarian efforts and many others aspect of life.

The recent inclusion of Pakistan and India at SCO 2015 summit at Ufa as full members have raised many questions in the minds of Western analysts. Of their opinion, it is viewed that US is no more a dominant player in South Asian politics as both Pakistan and India have joined the Eastern bloc, the bloc led by Russia militarily and China economically. This perhaps prove to be a daunting task for US to reestablish the already established influential role in this region. Simultaneously, US is observing deeply how things getting away from their hands systemically. Adding the statements of the Prime Minister of Pakistan at SCO 2015 summit at Ufa last year, “We must work together to mitigate differences, resolve outstanding disputes and create a favorable environment for the betterment of our peoples. This is how the true Shanghai Spirit will be fully realized.” Mr. Sharif termed inclusion of India and Pakistan into the ambit of the grouping as turning point in the history of Shanghai Cooperation Organization.

Furthermore, the intentions of Iran and Turkey to be enlisted as SCO full members will add more fuel to fire to Unipolar world order in the coming days. Soon after the Iranian nuclear talks with P5+1, Russia officially declared her full support to Iran, the practical application of which was recently observed at Syrian battleground by Russia-Iran Cooperation to Assad’s regime respectively.  Speaking at a news conference in Lausanne on March 31, 2015, Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said that sanctions against Iran should be lifted “once the deal is reached,” which means immediately and not gradually. If that is the case, it seems that Iran could join the SCO in 2016.

On the other hand, Turkish PM Erdogan has once again emphasized that Turkey wants to join the SCO as full member, considering it as part of Turkey’s larger pivot to Asia. “Take us and we will say goodbye to the EU”, these words of PM Erdogan clearly illustrate their desires and adherence to be full member of SCO. Since the EU has not accepted Turkey, Turkey being a major NATO ally, is looking for new ways and channels for Strengthening the relationship with the SCO.

Recalling the annual SCO summit 2005 at Astana, President of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev, vocally greeted the guests with remarkable words that had never before been used in any context of International Politics. He stated that “The leaders of the states sitting at this negotiation table are representatives of half of humanity.” Therefore, SCO members are indeed truly representative of the half of the population of the world, the decisions of which is of vital importance to reshape the world order.

According to Former Joint Chief of Staff of the Russian Armed Forces Leonid Ivashov statement, Contrary to Samuel Huntington’s hallmark that “Clash of civilizations is inevitable and countries will never tolerate other cultures.” This phenomenon has been significantly negated under the SCO framework that has not only harmonized interactions between civilizations but also proved to be platform with unique nature. The contours of an alliance of five non-Western civilizations Russian, Chinese, Muslim, Hindu, and Buddhist join under the umbrella of SCO.

By Summing up, the accession of India and Pakistan from South Asia and possibly Iran from Middle East and Turkey from Eurasia in the near future, will radically change the very nature of the SCO. The same goes for Belarus, a European nation with a somewhat peculiar political system, and Sri Lanka, which has become disillusioned with the West for pointlessly defending Tamil separatists. It will bring significant changes in outlook of SCO among the many multilateral institutions of the world. The organization would then count all the leading non-Western powers of Eurasia, Central Asia, South Asia and Asia-Pacific among its members which is a posing a number of challenges for western world and their supremacy.

I predict and would welcome an official visit by Russian President Putin to Pakistan at this time, to open a new chapter in South Asian political arena, ultimately bringing end to Western hegemonic designs and possibly and pragmatically open new avenues for the peaceful solution of Pakistan-India issues under the platform of SCO. If China and Russia can solve their century old border issue why not then Pakistan and India. Soon after SCO annual summit 2016 at Uzbekistan, the world will observe a new wave of Multipolar order unveiled by SCO leading towards the new horizons and glory of global politics.

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Ahmed Jamali

Ahmed Bux Jamali holds a Master's degree in International Relations from International Islamic University in Islamabad, Pakistan. He currently works as Research Fellow at Institute of Peace and Diplomatic Studies in Islamabad. Ahmed can be reached at [email protected]

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