Mumbai, June 13 -- The first multilateral summit Prime Minister Narendra Modi will attend in his second term will be the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) get-together in Kyrgystan. The SCO is among a set of strategic bodies that India has signed up to as a geopolitical hedge rather than because it is clear how membership will further longterm strategic interests. That the media interest is more about the possibility of Mr Modi's meeting Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan and his face-to-face with China's Xi Jinping is not without reason.

Nonetheless, it is important that India continues to invest in SCO. The body has shown slow but steady development as a counterterrorism body and could potentially become the basis of a trading arr...