At the SCO NSA meeting on Thursday and Friday, India emphasised that the continuation of terror networks in Afghanistan is a cause for serious worry and that the rise in terror attacks in Afghanistan by ISIS offshoot Islamic State-Khorasan Province poses a threat to everyone.
This was emphasised by Vikram Misri, who served as the deputy national security adviser and was in Tashkent to represent India as part of the 17th Meeting of Secretaries of Security Councils of SCO Member States.
He may have also mentioned at the discussion how technology has multiplied the threat of terrorism. Terrorists are using new technology like drones, artificial intelligence, blockchain, digital currency, and darknet, so it’s important to stop them.
ET has learned that Misri emphasised the fact that the Afghan territory shouldn’t be utilised to harbour, train, or plot terrorist attacks. It is said that UNSC Resolution 2593 outlines the international community’s collective strategy to combat terrorism. Pakistan, a SCO member state, was not specifically mentioned, although theMisri is believed to have emphasised the serious threat still presented in the Af-Pak area by a number of terrorist organisations, including those listed by the UNSC like ISIS, Al-Qaeda, Lashkar e- Taiba, Jaish e- Mohammed, and others.
The Deputy NSA also mentioned the rise in terror strikes in Afghanistan by ISIS affiliate Islamic State-Khorasan Province and stressed how gravely concerning the attack on a Gurudwara in Kabul is, for which an ISIS offshoot has claimed responsibility.
The urgent priority in Afghanistan, Misri, are to help the Afghan people in need, ensure the establishment of an inclusive and representative government, fight terrorism and drug trafficking, and uphold the rights of minorities, women, and children.
Till now, India has donated 40,000 MT of wheat, 30 tonnes of medications, 500,000 doses of the Covid vaccination, and 500 sets of winter apparel. After the catastrophic earthquake that devastated Afghanistan in June of this year, India was among the first to respond and sent 28 tonnes of essential relief supplies to the country’s people.
India had previously stressed that terrorism’s primary source of funding is, and continues to stress, the Council of Regional Anti-Terrorist Structure (RATS) of the SCO. India has presided over 24 sessions of various SCO RATS groups, with five of the meetings taking place there.
In June 2017, India joined the SCO as a new member. But there has been a long history of interaction with the SCO member states. The foundational elements for effective cooperation at this forum, are mutual trust, goodwill and understanding, respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity, adherence to international laws and standards, and sensitivity to each other’s interests.
Another significant area that is used by terrorists and has significant potential is cyberspace. Misri noted that there is a need for more engagement and collaboration.
There is a need for member states to cooperate since there is an increase in the smuggling of illegal weapons and ammunition. He pointed out that in addition to distributors, the origins and roots of supply also need to be attacked.
Later this year, India will assume leadership of the SCO, and in March 2023, it will host the 18th gathering of Secretaries of the Security Councils. Additionally, in December of this year, India will host the first gathering of Secretaries of Security Councils from Central Asia and India.
Misri met separately in Tashkent with J. Enkhbayar, the security of the Mongolian Security Council, and Viktor Makhmudov, the secretary of the Uzbek Security Council. Additionally, he spoke with Vladimir Norov Imanovich, Uzbekistan’s acting foreign minister.