The Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) recently welcomed two new members — India and Pakistan this Wednesday. At the reception event of the SCO, a goof-up happened that became a reason for big embarrassment for Pakistan as well as the organizers of the event.
Both the new members claimed the legacy of the great Mughal emperor, Shah Jahan, in the exhibits at the meet. The image of the Red Fort with the Indian flag above it was shown as Lahore’s Shalimar Garden in Pakistan’s tableau. Pakistan claimed that it was the masterpiece from the Mughal era which attained peak during the rule of Shah Jahan.
The exhibit also boasted of ornamental ponds and marble palaces in the fort. The faux pas was pointed out to the organizers who replied that they did not cross check the images on display and were very apologetic about the mix up.
The Indian side displayed the Taj Mahal and the Red Fort of Agra, describing its history and beauty.
Among other members of SCO attending the event were China’s Foreign Minister, Wang Yi, India’s convoy to China, Vijay Gokhale, and the ambassador of Pakistan, Masood Khalid.
The group now comprises of 8 countries — China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Russia, India and Pakistan. Afghanistan, Iran, Belarus, and Mogolia have an observer status in the SCO.
At a meet that followed this event, China dismissed apprehensions that the differences between India and Pakistan could disrupt the group, saying that the charter of the organization strictly prohibits members to let their unhealthy bilateral relations affect the organization.