India for bigger involvement in SCO operations
If the SCO accepts India's willingness to join the exercises — massive air-ground offensives against entrenched irregular military formations — this will be the first time it will be joining war games being conducted by a bloc even if it is not primarily security-oriented in its disposition.
India is also prepared for greater involvement in SCO's routine round-the-year activities such as trade ministers' meetings. It would also like closer collaboration with the SCO's Tashkent-based Regional Counter-Terrorism Structure (RCTS).
Above all, the Ministry of External Affairs puts great faith in an expanded SCO proving of great assistance in stabilising Afghanistan.
India, along with Pakistan, has been keen to join the SCO for the past three years but formalities for opening the membership for the first time in this decade began with all prospective candidates being given the papers and documents during the previous summit.
New Delhi and Islamabad recently received another document, which too will have to be translated, an exacting exercise in diplomacy to ensure their accurate rendition from one language to another.
Pakistan, India, Iran and Mongolia have observer status, while Turkmenistan and Afghanistan are guest invitees.