New Delhi, 20 June: National Security Advisor (NSA) Ajit Doval will participate in the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) meet next week in Dushanbe.
Next week’s meeting will see the in-person participation of NSAs of SCO countries, including Pakistani NSA Moeed Yusuf. There is no confirmation of Indian and Pakistani NSAs bilateral meeting on the sidelines of the SCO meet.
Tajikistan is the chair of the grouping. It took the chairmanship at a meeting of the SCO Heads of State Council in November of 2020.
The SCO has eight member states — Russia, China, India, Pakistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.
Last year in September, Ajit Doval stormed out of the SCO’s virtual meeting of national security advisors after Pakistan showed a “fictitious” map violating the agenda of the gathering.
In March, Indian External Affairs Minister Dr. S Jaishankar and his Pakistani counterpart Shah Mahmood Qureshi attended the Ninth Ministerial Conference of the “Heart of Asia” on March 30 in Dushanbe, Tajikistan. No meeting between the two took place.
In recent months, Pakistani political and army leadership seems to have toned down rhetoric against India. Pakistani Army Chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa in April said a stable relationship between India and Pakistan is key to unlocking the potential of South and Central Asia by ensuring connectivity between East and West Asia. “We feel it is time to bury the past and move forward,” he said, adding that the onus for meaningful dialogue rests with India.
Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan had also said India would have to take the first step for improving bilateral relations by addressing the Kashmir issue. In February, India and Pakistan had announced that they had agreed to a ceasefire along the Line of Control (LoC) which was followed by Indus water talks, sporting visas and other measures.