India should focus on highlighting Pakistan’s role in fomenting cross-border terror at SCO summit: experts

India should focus on exposing Pakistan’s role in fomenting cross-border terror and the Taliban regime’s continued patronage of terror networks in Afghanistan, senior diplomats and strategic experts have said ahead of PM’s visit Minister Narendra Modi in Uzbekistan for the SCO summit next week.

Pankaj Saran, India’s former deputy national security adviser and former envoy to Russia, said India should raise concerns about cross-border terrorism at the SCO summit, which will also be attended by Chinese leaders. and Pakistani.

India should also raise the issue of ungoverned spaces in Afghanistan, Saran said during a virtual conference on “India’s role in Central Asia” organized by India Writes Network and the Center for Global India Insights (CGII). ), a think tank focused on global affairs.

Referring to the continued patronage of anti-Indian terrorist groups such as Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) and Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) in Afghanistan by the establishment in Pakistan and Afghanistan, Saran added that the regional counter-terrorism structure (RATS), a permanent subgroup of the SCO, has become a key platform for discussing terrorist threats from Afghanistan. India currently chairs the RATS.

Manish Chand, director of the Center for Global India Insights (CGII) and editor of India and the World magazine, stressed that India has vital national interests in stepping up its engagement with the SCO. “Understanding India’s role and potential in shaping the geopolitical and geoeconomic landscape is of critical importance as India succeeds Uzbekistan as SCO chair and hosts the next summit,” he said. he declared.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Chinese President Xi Jinping, Russian President Vladimir Putin, Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi and Pakistani Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif are expected to join leaders of other countries to attend the SCO summit in Samarkand, in Uzbekistan, September 15 and 16.

Manish Prabhat, India’s Ambassador to Uzbekistan, stressed the centrality of Central Asia in the SCO agenda. “In Central Asia, within the framework of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, India is a firm believer in this principle that Central Asia should be at the center of the SCO, and whatever happens to the ‘SCO, you have to consider the interests of Central Asia,” Prabhat said in the webinar.

“Central Asia is now trying to speak with one voice. The focus is more on economic integration in Central Asia. India is on track to enhance its engagement in the region,” he added.

“Central Asian countries are also looking for options outside the region and beyond China and Russia. India can certainly be one of the important players, as far as this is concerned. It is a win-win situation for the SCO and India,” said Sajjanhar, India’s former ambassador to Kazakhstan.

Emphasizing that bilateral differences between India and China will not derail SCO cooperation, Prof. Srikanth Kondapalli, China expert and Dean, SIS, JNU, said SCO should promote societal interactions civil society, especially between the media, educational institutions, think tanks and other forums to maximize its impact in the region.

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