SCO summit in Dushanbe: Afghan issue takes the center stage

DUSHANBE: The 21st meeting of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO), being held in a hybrid format, will see Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi leading the delegation as the head of the state.

The SCO, is an eight-member economic and security bloc and has emerged as one of the largest transregional international organizations, it is also seen as a counterweight to Nato. The summit was founded at a summit in Shanghai in 2001 by the presidents of Russia, China, the Kyrgyz Republic, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan.

India became its permanent members in 2017 along with Pakistan. India has participated in the ministerial-level meetings of the grouping which focus mainly on security and economic cooperation in the Eurasian region. It also acted as the observer in the 2005 edition of the same.

Tweeting from his official handle after the initial meetings, foreign minister Jaishankar indicated the strengthening of bilateral cooperation by the leaders and termed it as “positively reviewed”. He discussed the situation and challenges of combating terrorism and fundamentalism, especially in the light of the Afghan issue.

This is the fourth such summit where India will be participating as a full-fledged member of the SCO, and it assumes a special significance in the rapidly evolving situation of war-torn Afghanistan following the Taliban takeover.

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