Pakistan, China to virtually join SCO security officials’ meeting today
Top security officials of the SCO are expected to discuss the situation across the region, especially in Afghanistan, and ways to counter terrorism and trans-national crimes.
China and Pakistan will participate virtually in a meeting of national security advisers (NSA) and top security officials of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) to be hosted by India on March 29, people familiar with the matter said on Tuesday.
The gathering of security officials is part of the series of meetings being organised ahead of the SCO Summit to be held in India in July. The security officials are expected to discuss the situation across the region, especially in Afghanistan, and ways to counter terrorism and trans-national crimes.
China’s minister of public security Wang Xiaohong, who holds the rank of state councillor, is expected to join the meeting virtually, the people said. Pakistan currently does not have an NSA and the country is expected to be represented virtually by a senior official from the security establishment, the people added.
A statement from Russia’s Security Council said the organisation’s secretary, Nikolai Patrushev, will participate in the meeting of security officials in New Delhi that will be chaired by NSA Ajit Doval.
Besides the focus on the worsening security and humanitarian situation in Afghanistan, the meeting is expected to look at counter-terrorism, radicalisation and extremism, trans-national crimes such as the smuggling of narcotics and weapons and global security issues, the people said.
In the context of Afghanistan, the security officials are expected to assess the threat posed by the Islamic State-Khorasan Province, which has claimed a string of devastating terror attacks in recent weeks, and UN-designated groups such as al-Qaeda, Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) and Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM), the people added.
The meeting of security officials will be followed by meetings of the SCO defence ministers in April and foreign ministers in May. These meetings will culminate in the SCO Summit to be held in July, the first time India will host the event since joining the grouping in 2017.