The NSA’s of the Shangai Cooperation Organisation(SCO) countries, including the Indian NSA Ajit Doval and his Pakistani counterpart Moeed Yusuf, on Wednesday, agreed to fight terrorism, religious radicalism, separatism and extremism at an SCO meeting of security officials in Dushanbe, Tajikistan. According to an official statement released by the meeting’s host Tajikistan, importance was also given to the current situation in Afghanistan including the dangerous possibility of an escalation.
Among other things, the meeting discussed issues like biological and food security in view of the COVID-19 pandemic. Cooperation among SCO members to ensure information security and fight against cybercrime was also on the agenda. According to the statement issued in Tajik, discussions were held on joint cooperation to counter threats like religious radicalism, extremism, separatism and organized crime across borders like arms and drug trafficking.
In the fight against such threats and strengthening of relations between member states, The Regional Anti-Terrorist Structure(RATS) can play an important role, the statement added.
The NSAs of the SCO countries also called on Tajikistan’s President, Emomali Rahmon who is the current chairman of the organisation. Rahmon told the NSA’s that he considered the meeting to be very significant.
The meeting was attended by NSA’s of both India and Pakistan in addition to security officials from Kazakhstan, Russia, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and RATS director Jumakhon Giyosev. Both Ajit Doval and Moeed Yusuf are already engaged in secret backchannel talks, according to various media reports. However, there was no indication of a meeting between the two in Dushanbe.
The bilateral relations between India and Pakistan have been improving after a ceasefire was agreed upon at the LOC in February this year. The uncertain situation in Afghanistan following American troops withdrawal, which was discussed at the SCO meeting, has major implications for both the neighbouring countries.