SCO security officials meet in Delhi; Afghanistan on agenda

A Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) meeting of security officials got underway in New Delhi Wednesday and will see regional national security advisors assess the security situation in the region and in Afghanistan in particular.

In his opening remarks, India’s NSA Ajit Doval, who is hosting the meeting, stated: “Terrorism in all its forms and manifestations and its financing are amongst the most serious threats to international peace and security. Any act of terrorism, regardless of its motivation, is unjustifiable.”

The meeting was being attended by the secretary of Russia’s Security Council, Nikolai Patrushev, senior officials of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan and a representative of the Regional Anti-Terrorist Structure (RATS) of SCO. Officials of China and Pakistan are participating virtually.

Noting that the region has been affected by the impact of global security challenges, Doval said the goals and vision of the SCO Charter could show the member states the path forward.

The SCO NSAs are expected to discuss the situation in Afghanistan because of the growing threat of Islamic State Khorasan Province (IS-K) fighters in the country – which concerns the SCO member states.  

This comes after recent statements by the Taliban that it has destroyed several IS-K hideouts in Kabul and Mazar-e-Sharif province.

Since the return of the Taliban to power in August 2021, IS-K, otherwise known as Daesh, has increased its attacks across the country and has claimed responsibility for several explosions in the past few months.

Wednesday’s SCO meeting comes ahead of the SCO defense minister’s meeting scheduled to be held in Delhi next month.

The SCO is an intergovernmental organization established in 2001 and comprises eight member states – India, China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, Russia, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan.