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India, Pakistan join Shanghai pact despite bilateral tensions

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Russian President Vladimir Putin arrives in Astana Kazakstan to attend a summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization on Thursday

Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif Friday said Pakistan, as full member of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), would strive further to achieve the collective objectives of the organization for regional cooperation, connectivity and economic prosperity.

Along with India, Pakistan has also joined the SCO as a full member state.

China's State media today reported that Xi only held talks with PM Modi, as well as with leaders of Tajikistan and Turkmenistan and the King of Spain who is in Astana for a world expo held alongside the SCO summit.

He assured that China will contribute with an additional 10 million yuan ($1.47 million USD) to the SCO Secretariat in order to facilitate its work.

The expansion of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) carries historic significance as India and Pakistan become full members of the bloc, SCO leaders said on Friday.

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While Modi during his speech has specifically stressed on the need of a united approach to combat terrorism, Modi said, "it was impossible to reach a solution till all countries made concerted efforts to fight radicalization, terrorist recruitment, training and financing". "We look forward to working with member countries for progress, prosperity and connectivity in the region", said Pankaj Patel, President, Ficci.

President Jinping congratulated India on its expected official membership of the SCO and stated China's willingness to strengthen cooperation with India under the SCO framework and jointly make positive contribution to its sound and steady development. "We support connectivity with the SCO countries", he said, speaking in Hindi and added, "Connectivity should create cooperation and trust among our future generations".

The UN Secretary General also called on the Prime Minister.

The reason for the boycott was India's concerns over the $50 billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, a project under the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), headed by Chinese President Xi, and which passes via Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK). "If Russia uses its strength and convince China, then the positive result will be seen in terms of terrorism", Sinha asserted.

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