BEIJING    -   The Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) is willing to take on the responsibility for maintaining security and ensuring development in the South Asian region, SCO Secretary-General Vladimir Norov told reporters in response to a question about conflict between India and Pakistan.

The SCO currently includes eight countries namely, India, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, China, Pakistan, Russia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.

Four States, specifically, Afghanistan, Belarus, Iran and Mongolia, have observer status. Azerbaijan, Armenia, Cambodia, Nepal, Turkey and Sri Lanka are the dialogue partners.

Norov recalled that India and Pakistan co-authored the Bishkek summit declaration, supporting its key message which States that “member nations find it important to use the potential of the region’s States, international organisations and multilateral associations in the interest of forming a wide, open, mutually beneficial and equal Eurasian cooperation space with the aim to ensure stable security and sustainable development.”

Prior to formally joining the SCO, both India and Pakistan were the observer States of the organisation. Both India and Pakistan who are now full members of the SCO are suppose to maintain long-term and friendly relations with all the member States including each other as per the SCO charter, the Secretary-General stated.