NSA Ajit Doval | SCO goals, vision can show way forward to face global security challenges: NSA Doval
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New Delhi, Mar 29 (UNI) – NSA Ajit Doval | National Security Advisor Ajit Doval on Wednesday said the goals and vision of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) can show the way forward amid the several challenges that beset the global security today, as he also stressed on boosting connectivity in the region. (NSA Ajit Doval)

 

Addressing the 18th meeting of Secretaries of Security Councils of SCO Member States, which was attended by senior security officials from all eight member countries, with Pakistan and China attending virtually, the Indian NSA also said that terrorism in all its forms and manifestations, and its financing, are among the most serious threats to international peace and security.

 

He said: “The global security is faced with several challenges on account of developments in recent years, and that the SCO region is also affected by the impact of these challenges. But the goals and vision of the SCO can show the way forward.

 

“The charter calls upon states to have mutual respect for sovereignty, territorial integrity of states and the inviolability of state borders, non-use of force or threat of its use in international relations, and seeking no unilateral military superiority in adjacent areas.”

 

He said the SCO charter “also exhorts us to maintain and develop relations with other states and international organisations and to cooperate in the prevention of international conflicts and in their peaceful settlement”, in an oblique reference to the Ukraine conflict.

 

He said that if the SCO principles are followed then the regional bloc “can make a significant contribution to our regional security and indeed global security. India’s foreign policy is based on these principles and reflects our commitment to the charter of the SCO”.

 

On terrorism, he said:

“Terrorism in all its forms and manifestations, and its financing, are among the most serious threats to international peace and security. Any act of terrorism, regardless of its motivation, is unjustifiable. It is therefore important for all countries to fulfil the obligations enshrined in relevant counter-terrorism cooperation protocols, including the UNSC Resolutions 1267, 1373 , and successor resolutions, for the purpose of identifying and implementing sanctions against global terrorist entities. This is in line with the Charter of the SCO to combat terrorism, separatism, and extremism in all their manifestations.”

 

Doval said that connectivity is a key priority for India.

“We stand ready to cooperate on investing in and building connectivity in the region,” he said, and in a note of caution, he added ”While expanding connectivity, it is important to ensure that such initiatives are consultative, transparent and participatory, and respect the sovereignty and territorial integrity of all countries.” This is in reference to the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor to which India has objected as it passes through Pakistan-occupied Kashmir.

 

Referring to the North South Transport Corridor, he said India is committed to fulfilling its obligations under the International North-South Transport Corridor (INSTC) and for the inclusion of the Chabahar Port within the framework of the INSTC.

 

“Though India became a member of the SCO only in June 2017, our relationship with the SCO countries goes back several centuries. Bonds of history, geography and culture make us natural partners.

 

“We are common stakeholders in the peace, security, progress and prosperity of the region and we believe that SCO can play a seminal role in this endeavour,” he said.

 

Besides NSA Ajit Doval, the other participants were: from Russia, Nikolai Patrushev, Secretary of the Security Council; China: Wang Xiaohong, State Councilor and Minister for Public Security; Pakistan: Engr. Amir Hassan, Secretary, National Security Division; Kazakhstan: Gizat Nurdauletov, Aide to the President, Secretary of the Security Council; Kyrgyzstan: Lt. Gen. Marat Mukanovich Imankulov, Secretary of the Security Council; Tajikistan: Nasrullo Rahmatjon Mahmudzoda, Secretary of the Security Council; Uzbekistan: Viktor Makmudov.

 

Among the special invitees were: Nuran Niyazalev, Deputy Secretary General of the SCO Secretariat, and Mirzaev Ruslan Erkinovich, Director of the Executive Committee RATS SCO.

 

SCO was proclaimed on June 15, 2001 in Shanghai (China), with six members – Kazakhstan, China, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. In June 2017 in Astana, during a meeting of the Heads of State, India and Pakistan were given the status of full members.

 

Besides the eight full members, four countries — Afghanistan, Belarus, Iran and Mongolia — have an observer status with the SCO, while six countries — Azerbaijan, Armenia, Cambodia, Nepal, Turkey and Sri Lanka — have a dialogue partner status. Iran is likely to be granted full members status.

 

India is to host the Heads of State summit of the SCO in July.
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