International connectivity projects should respect the “sovereignty and territorial integrity” of the nations, said National Security Advisor Ajit Doval on March 29.
Addressing the 18 th Meeting of the Secretaries of the Security Councils of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO), Mr. Doval focused on terror financing and called upon all member countries to support relevant resolutions of the UN Security Council.
Russian Security Council’s Secretary Nikolai Patrushev gave a call to “prevent interference in domestic affairs of sovereign states”.
“Connectivity remains a key priority for India. We stand ready to cooperate on investing in and building connectivity in the region. 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,” said Mr Doval welcoming the delegates to Wednesday’s meeting. The meeting has drawn attention as it is being attended by the Secretary of the Security Council of Russia Nikolai Patrushev, one of the most important officials from Kremlin under President Putin.
In his remarks, Mr Patrushev sought enhanced cooperation regarding “biomedical security and anti-drug track”.
“Emphasis was placed on specific measures to jointly fight transnational organised crime, terrorism and the revival of neo-Nazism,” the Russian embassy informed. Russia has often projected its ongoing military campaign in Ukraine as a fight against neo-Nazism thereby evoking the memory of the Soviet fight against Nazi Germany during World War II. Mr. Patrushev also called on PM Modi.
Mr. Doval drew attention to the issue of cross-border terrorism and said, “Any act of terrorism, regardless of its motivation, is unjustifiable. It is important therefore for all countries to fulfil the obligations enshrined in relevant counter-terrorism cooperation protocols, including UNSC resolutions 1267, 1373 and successor Resolutions, for the purpose of identifying and implementing sanctions against global terrorist entities”.
Mr. Doval’s comments on adhering to the UNSC resolutions is important as it hints at the roadblocks that India has faced in the past in its campaign against global terrorism because of frequent obstructions from China. In January, Abdul Rehman Makki of Lashkar-E-Taiba was listed as a global terrorist under the 1267 UN Sanctions Committee after China lifted its “technical hold”. The move came seven months after China had put a hold on the Indo-U.S. joint proposal to list Mr. Makki as a global terrorist on June 16, 2022.
Apart from Mr. Doval and Mr. Patrushev, the meeting also saw in-person attendance of Gizat Nurdauletov, Aide to the President, Secretary of the Security Council of Kazakhstan, Lt. Gen Marat Mukanovich Imankulov, Secretary of the Security Council of the Kyrgyz Republic, Nasrullo Rahmatjon Mahmudzoda, Secretary of the Security Council of Tajikistan, and Viktor Makhmudov, Secretary of the Security Council of Uzbekistan. Special invitees to the event were Nuran Niyazaleiv, Deputy Secretary General of the SCO Secretariat, and Mirzaev Ruslan Erkinovich, Director, Executive Committee of SCO’s Regional Anti-Terrorist Structure (RATS).
Both China and Pakistan participated in the event through video link. Pakistan was represented at the event by Amir Hassan, Secretary National Security Division as the Shehbaz Sharif government does not have an NSA at the moment and China was represented by Wang Xiachong, State Councilor and Minister of Public Security.
SCO has eight members including China, India, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyz Republic, Russia, Pakistan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. That apart, Afghanistan, Belarus, Iran and Mongolia are ‘Observer States” and Armenia, Azerbaijan, Cambodia, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Turkey are “Dialogue Partners” of SCO.
The New Delhi meeting is expected to take up issues like terrorism and security implications of the Taliban’s leadership in Afghanistan.
Mr Doval also drew attention to the war in Europe in an indirect way and urged cooperation among member countries saying, “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.” He also expressed India’s commitment to fulfilling our obligations under the International North-South Transport Corridor (INSTC) and for the inclusion of the Chabahar within the INSTC.