SCO NSA-level meeting will focus on cross-border terrorism


A crucial meeting of the National Security Advisors (NSAs) of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) will be hosted by India’s NSA Ajit Doval here on Wednesday. India is the current chair of the SCO. Sources told The Daily Guardian that the Indian side is set to send out a strong message to Pakistan over cross border terrorism. The SCO NSAs will focus on the issue of terrorism and the measures to counter the menace.
NSA Doval will use the occasion to serve a stern message to Pakistan over terrorism, asking all the countries to strengthen the fight against this menace. The NSAs’ meeting is one of several events India is hosting as it chairs the SCO this year. Pakistan and China, with whom India has tense border relations, are likely to attend the conclave. But the two countries are still deciding upon the mode — virtual or in-person. Most probably, Pakistani and Chinese representatives might participate in the conclave virtually.
The meeting will be attended by NSAs and top security officials from Russia and Central Asia. The NSAs of the Eurasian grouping would focus on regional connectivity, counter-terror measures, cross-border terror and extremism. They will also focus on drug menace and the situation in Afghanistan. Humanitarian situation in Afghanistan will be looked into, sources said, adding that India would ask the NSAs to mount pressure on the Taliban regime to rein in terror groups which are using Afghan soil as safe haven, which is a threat to security of the entire region.
Sources further said that India would lay emphasis on optimum use of Iran’s Chabahar Port and International North South Transport Corridor (INSTC) as inclusive connectivity initiatives for Eurasia. Plans are already underway to connect Chabahar Port with INSTC. Russian NSA Nikolai Patrushev will be attending the meeting. He is also likely to hold a bilateral meeting with Doval. NSA Doval is likely to use the SCO meeting to reiterate India’s position on Afghanistan and stress the need for an inclusive and representative dispensation in the country.
The SCO consists of eight member countries — China, India, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, Russia, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan — with several others engaging as observers or dialogue partners. This year, Iran will join the SCO as the ninth member country under the presidency of India. Uzbekistan handed over the rotating presidency to India in September 2022.
In fact, the SCO NSA mechanism is a key part of the grouping. It would help prepare for the SCO Summit under India’s presidency early July. India will be hosting SCO foreign ministers meeting in Goa in May.