India is pitching up for full membership of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO), even as Pakistan is pulling out all the stops. Both the countries are observer status in the regional grouping.
External affairs minister SM Krishna will be leaving for Astana, the capital of Kazakhstan, on Tuesday to attend the SCO summit.
President Asif Ali Zardari is attending the summit on behalf of Pakistan.
The SCO was founded in Shanghai in 2001 by China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.
Pakistan is an observer along with India, Iran and Mongolia. Belarus and Sri Lanka are dialogue partners.
Pakistan became an observer in 2002 and has been making efforts to get full membership since then. Official said that Pakistan has the active support of China in getting full membership.
"The 11th Summit of the SCO in Astana is expected to spell out the rules of engagement for new members - the Memorandum of Obligations that the new applicant members need to fulfil to become full members," Ajay Bisaria, joint secretary (ERS) in the MEA told reporters.
Counter-terrorism issues, finding a regional solution to the situation in Afghanistan will figure in the discussions at the summit, Bisaria added.