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Mon. Oct 3rd, 2022
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NEW DELHI: PM Narendra Modi is likely to underline the threat from radicalisation and extremism at the upcoming SCO summit in Samarkand while seeking a zero tolerance policy on terrorism and also unanimity in the group on designation of terrorists. He will also look to address the security situation in Afghanistan with focus on the need to strengthen counter-terrorism cooperation among member-states and check the activities of terrorist groups still running terror training camps in the country.
Modi is likely to emphasise that a peaceful, stable and inclusive Afghanistan is crucial for regional peace and security and that India will remain an important stakeholder in the country.
The Prime Minister will meet Chinese President Xi Jinping and also Russian President Vladimir Putin at the summit and while they will exchange pleasantries, there’s no confirmation yet of any structured bilateral meeting with either of the two leaders. Diplomatic sources said though India and Russia are still exploring the possibility of a bilateral meeting. In the case of Xi too, sources did not fully rule out substantive bilateral talks between Modi and Xi.
The fact that disengagement at Gogra-Hot Springs would be done and dusted by the time Modi lands in Uzbekistan can allow India some flexibility in dealing with, if it happens, the first physical meeting between the two leaders since 2019. That disengagement was announced at what is also known as patrolling point-15 barely a week before a possible meeting is significant in itself. With the border situation in eastern Ladakh not fully resolved, India has been reluctant to officially confirm in advance, like with foreign minister Wang Yi’s visit in March, any bilateral engagement with China.
The government did say on Sunday that Modi is likely to hold a few bilateral meetings on the sidelines of the summit. “During the Summit, the leaders are expected to review the organisation’s activities over the past two decades and discuss the state and prospects of multilateral cooperation in the future. Topical issues of regional and global importance are also expected to be discussed at the meeting,” said the government in a statement.
Modi is also likely to emphasise on strengthening connectivity in the SCO region but also underline that such initiatives must be transparent and consultative and not undermine sovereignty and territorial integrity. Following China’s decision to twice block UN designation of Pakistan based LeT and JeM operatives as global terrorists, Modi is likely to call upon the member-states, like he did at the virtual Brics summit this year, to be more sensitive to each other’s security concerns and not politicise the issue of designation of terrorists.

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