No hope for Pakistan to get membership of Indian Ocean Rim Association

WION Pretoria, South Africa Apr 09, 2019, 02.46 PM(IST) Written By: Sidhant Sibal

File photo: Pakistan PM Imran Khan. Photograph:( AFP )

Story highlights

The Indian Ocean Rim Association is a 22-member organisation consisting of countries bordering the Indian Ocean.

It will be far cry Islamabad to get membership of Indian-Ocean Rim Association any time soon.

Pakistan has repeatedly tried to become a member of the Indian-Ocean Rim Association (IORA). Pakistan has sent dozens of request to the secretariat of IORA but failed to get the membership of the most important grouping in the Indian Ocean region.

The Indian Ocean Rim Association is a 22-member organisation consisting of countries bordering the Indian Ocean.

The primary reason for Pakistan failing to get a membership is its ties with New Delhi. The situation is such that Pakistan's membership is not even put on the agenda.

A source told WION, "Pakistan needs to resolve its issue with India and agree to what India says, especially on trade, only then membership is possible".

Asked, if it is possible for Pakistan to get membership in the near future, another source said, "it's difficult".

To get the membership of the grouping, the consensus from all members is needed and any one country can block it, without giving any reason.

Maldives and Myanmar had applied for membership of the group with the former getting the membership last year but latter failing due to human rights concerns by South Africa.

South Africa is the chair of the IORA for two years and in 2020 the chair will pass to UAE.

All countries who share their shores with the Indian ocean can be part of the grouping, which means 25 countries can be part of the group.

Barring Pakistan, Myanmar and Djibouti, most countries of the Indian Ocean rim are its members. Djibouti has still not applied for membership of the grouping. France is also keen to join the grouping.

IORA's role in the region is expected to grow as the Indian ocean becomes a zone of great games and commercial interest rises. Half of the world's container ships, one-third of the world's bulk cargo traffic and two-thirds of the world's oil shipments cross its waters annually.