Terrorism and Afghanistan are on India’s SCO agenda; China and Pakistan are also expected to attend.
In a virtual format, Prime Minister Narendra Modi will lead the Indian delegation, while External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar will attend in person. India is getting ready for the SCO summit in Dushanbe, which will be held in a hybrid style. The SCO’s top decision-making body is the Council of the SCO Heads of State, which meets for annual summits in member nations on a rotating basis.
This is the fourth Summit in which India will take part as a full member state. This summit is significant since the SCO will be celebrating its 20th anniversary in 2021, and Tajikistan will be celebrating its 30th year of independence.
According to knowledgeable sources, India’s focus at the meeting would be on counter-terrorism, economic cooperation, and regional developments, particularly in Afghanistan. Afghanistan is also set to take centre stage during the SCO meeting. While China and Pakistan have backed the Taliban rule, India is keeping a close eye on the situation.
In the context of Afghanistan, India is anticipated to emphasise the immediate threat posed by anti-India terror groups’ potential exploitation of Afghan territory. Under India’s chairmanship, a “new SCO Program of Multilateral Trade-Economic Cooperation (2020-2035)” was approved, outlining the main areas of cooperation such as trade and investment, banking and financial cooperation, transportation and logistics, industry, digitalization, agriculture, energy, innovation, spatial development, education, tourism, and the environment.