Membership of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) gives a good opportunity to India to reduce its military and security ties with the US and also review its confrontationist stance towards China and Pakistan, the CPI-M has said.
An editorial in the CPI-M journal "People's Democracy" welcomed the Modi government's decision to become a full member of the SCO "and not let the narrow prism of its differences with Pakistan and China stand in the way of doing so.
"However, there is a confused understanding in the Indian establishment about the membership of the SCO and inherent contradictions due to the direction of foreign policy and strategic relations pursued in the past one and a half decades.
"India has forged a growing military collaboration with the US and is now treated by the US as a 'major defence partner'. The SCO is a security alliance which excludes the US and does not subscribe to the US geo-political strategy in Asia.
"Now with the uncertainties attached to the Trump administration's strategic outlook, the membership of the SCO is an appropriate time to start reducing the military and security ties with the US."
The Communist Party of India-Marxist also urged the Modi government to embrace the Belt Road Initiative (BRI) of China.
"All the other seven countries of the SCO are partners of the BRI and have endorsed it. India will be the odd man out. It would be better for India to revise its stance and find ways to cooperate with the One Belt One Road project which has Central Asia at the heart of it.
"Being together on the joint platform of the SCO with Pakistan and China should induce some re-thinking on the Modi government's confrontationist and negative stance towards both these neighbours."
The CPI-M said the SCO can play an important role in dealing with the intractable conflict in Afghanistan.
"India should be able to use this forum in a constructive manner. An important part of this would be to find ways and means to resume political negotiations with Pakistan.
"It is the India-Pakistan conflict and hostility which has crippled SAARC. Hopefully, being together in the SCO would mark a beginning in the reversal of this bitter and conflicted relationship."
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