All the SCO Member states have been invited to attend the summit and Iran, Belarus, Mongolia have been invited as observer states…reports Asian Lite News
The Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) Council of Heads of State is all set to take place in July, chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in a virtual format, according to the statement released by SCO.
Under India’s leadership, the SCO Council of Heads of State will be held in a virtual format on July 4, 2023. All the SCO Member States, that are China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan, have been invited to attend the Summit. In addition, Iran, Belarus and Mongolia have been invited as Observer States. As per SCO tradition, Turkmenistan has also been invited as the guest of the Chair. Heads of the two SCO Bodies – the Secretariat and the SCO RATS – will also be present. Further, Heads of six international and regional organizations have also been invited, viz. UN, ASEAN, CIS, CSTO, EAEU and CICA.
“The theme of the Summit is ‘Towards a SECURE SCO’. The SECURE acronym was coined by the Prime Minister at the 2018 SCO Summit and stands for Security; Economy and Trade; Connectivity; Unity; Respect for Sovereignty and Territorial Integrity; and Environment. These themes have been highlighted during our Chairmanship of SCO,” the statement read.
“India has set up new pillars of cooperation under its Chairmanship – Startups and Innovation; Traditional Medicine; Digital Inclusion; Youth Empowerment; and Shared Buddhist Heritage. In addition, India has worked towards fostering greater people-to-people ties that celebrate the historical and civilizational bonds between our nations. These include the various socio-cultural events hosted by Varanasi under the framework of the first-ever SCO Cultural and Tourist Capital for 2022-23,” the statement added.
India’s Chairmanship of SCO has been a period of intense activity and mutually beneficial cooperation between Member States. India has hosted a total of 134 meetings and events, including 14 Ministerial-level meetings. India remains committed to playing a positive and constructive role in the organization and looks forward to a successful SCO Summit as the culmination of its Chairmanship.
The rotational presidency remains with India until September 2023.
In 2022, India assumed the presidency of the SCO, marking a significant milestone in the country’s role in regional cooperation and its endeavour of advocating for an integrated neighbourhood.
The SCO provides a platform for India to enhance economic cooperation with Central Asian countries, which have vast reserves of natural resources. India is seeking to increase its trade and investment ties with the SCO countries to diversify its economic partnerships.
India will host the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) Summit in New Delhi On July 3-4. The agenda for the Summit is anticipated to centre on counter-terror, Afghan stability, and inclusive connectivity efforts including Chabahar Port & INSTC, aside from India’s extensive outreach to Eurasia.
An article from a magazine, ‘Wedge’ dated May 16, 2023, written by Japanese scholar Satoru Nagao, who works with the Sasakawa Peace Foundation provides a perspective as to why India is focusing on its active participation in SCO. The article has noted the current pattern of partnerships within SCO.
As per his article in Wedge, the SCO is a countermeasure against Pakistan. For India, the SCO holds the potential to serve the purpose in terms of security. For India, dealing with China and Pakistan is a security challenge. Pakistan, in particular, sends Islamic extremists to India, said Satoru.
Pakistan lost the Indo-Pakistani War in 1971 and was made aware of the huge power difference with India. Since then, as a countermeasure against India, along with the development of nuclear weapons, the strategy adopted by Pakistan has been to support Islamic extremists, who carry out terrorist activities against India, more actively than ever before. The so-called ‘Thousand Wounds Strategy’ states that even a strong country would turn weak if it inflicted a thousand small wounds through terrorism.
In the 1980s, the Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan, and the US, via Pakistan, supported the guerrillas against the Soviet Union. During this process, Pakistan developed the know-how to support terrorists.
From the beginning, SCO has been a useful forum for countering Pakistan and Islamic extremists. India, which is chairing SCO this year, did not allow high-ranking Pakistani government officials to enter India for the National Security Director-General level and Defense Minister-level talks. They were allowed to participate only through online mode.
If viewed through this aspect, the SCO is not only a place for India to cooperate, but also a place to gather information, monitor and obstruct China-Pakistan movements. That’s where its real worth for India lies, said Satoru.
India in the midst of a framework, which is turning into a confusing mystery. At first glance, the SCO looks like a framework promoting cooperation among anti-US countries. It has come up with a certain degree of success with regard to the China-Russia-Central Asia agreement. (ANI)