India and SCO: Greater Engagement in Extended Neighbourhood

While the Modi government’s focus on SAARC and Association of Southeast Asian Nation (ASEAN) countries is important, it should also include Central Asia within its matrix of co-development. Geo-strategically, Central Asia constitutes a part of India’s extended neighbourhood and it is, therefore, necessary to safeguard our legitimate national interests in the region. Central Asia is strategically located and without a doubt, its strategic importance in international affairs has been steadily growing. For India, Central Asia is important because of old cultural and civilizational linkages, the region’s strategic location, energy resources and trade opportunities. Central Asia’s energy reserves will be vital to the global economy over the coming decades.

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