Pakistan’s Foreign Minister (FM) Shah Mahmood Qureshi is in Moscow to attend the meeting of the Council of Foreign Ministers (CFM) of Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO). The purpose of the two-day meeting is to prepare the agenda for the upcoming summit that the heads of state will attend. However, given Pakistan’s desire and efforts to solve the Kashmir dispute according to Kashmiris’ wishes, FM Qureshi will undoubtedly try to put Kashmir on the list for the next meeting.

Realistically, the chances of Kashmir becoming part of the upcoming summit’s agenda are bleak. But Kashmir will be the real test of the philosophical framework of the organisation that aims to reinforce mutually beneficial cooperation and prevent confrontation and conflict. Amongst the core objectives of the SCO is regional integration and collaboration; this idea has gained significance manifold as present times witness the political and economic axis of the world is shifting towards the east.

But regional cooperation will remain a distant dream unless India chooses to change its political trajectory. Hindutva, which is the ideological fodder of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), has clouded the rational faculties of its leadership. Instead of carrying out diplomatic engagements with its neighbours, Modi’s government is hungry for military confrontation to settle territorial disputes. However, Pakistan, remaining true to its international and regional commitments to uphold peace, is not looking to take up a fight, especially on a forum like the one at hand.

SCO’s idea to build just and polycentric world order, in conformity with the norms of international law and principles of mutual respect, is tarnished and India’s presence and actions on the borders. It is encouraging that Indian, Chinese and Russian FMs attended a luncheon, highly likely to de-escalate the tensions between New Delhi and Beijing. But SCO’s vision of multipolar world order will not materialise if it ignores Kashmir.