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India’s unaddressed concerns from the SCO-RATS Summit

  • Category
    International Relations
  • Published
    6th Jun, 2022

Overview:

  • Sanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO)
  • Main Objectives of SCO
  • RATS
  • India and SCO
  • Agenda of the meeting
  • India’s major concerns
  • Potential barriers

Context

India is hosting a critical meet of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation's anti-terrorism body, Regional Anti-Terrorist Structure (RATS), for three days from Monday with an eye on addressing terror threats in the Eurasian region including Afghan theatre. Pakistan has sent a delegation for the meeting, which is being attended by all nine members of the grouping.

Analysis

What is SCO?

  • The SCO is an economic and security grouping and has emerged as one of the largest trans-regional international organisations to ensure security and maintain stability across the vast Eurasian region.
  • The member-states of SCO:
    • Russia,
    • China,
    • India,
    • Pakistan,
    • Kyrgyz Republic,
    • Kazakhstan,
    • Tajikistan and
    • Uzbekistan

      Afghanistan having an observer status

The main objectives of the SCO are to: 

  • strengthen relations among member states
  • promote cooperation in political affairs, economics and trade, scientific-technical, cultural, and educational spheres as well as in energy, transportation, tourism, and environmental protection;
  • safeguard regional peace, security, and stability
  • create a democratic, equitable international political and economic order

What is RATS?

  • SCO- Regional Anti-Terrorist Structure (RATS) is a permanent body of SCO.
  • Responsible for promoting coordination and interaction between the SCO member states to fight against terrorism, extremism and separatism.

India and SCO:

  • India got the status of permanent member status from SCO in the year 2017 (along with Pakistan).
  • Inclusion of India along with Pakistan, enhanced the capability and capacity of the grouping to combat terrorism and extremism.
  • India has chaired the recent RATS-SCO summit.

Discussed agenda of the meeting:

  • Situation of Afghanistan and security concerns arising due to strategic fall of US and fall of Afghanistan in the hands of the Taliban was the main agenda.
  • India has also expressed a strong desire to strengthen its security cooperation with the SCO and RATS.

What are the major concerns of India?

  • Ensuring desertification of terrorism from Afghan soil
  • Protecting sovereignty and territorial integrity
  • Ensuring peace and stability
  • Condemning all forms of terrorism and terror financing
  • Better defence cooperation among the member states to fight extremism and terrorism
  • International Rule-based world order
  • terrorism, terror infrastructure, and now narcotics emanating from Afghanistan and Pakistan to fund these activities 

What are the major challenges associated with India’s target?

  • Scope of divergence: Inclusion of India and Pakistan has widened the fault lines and created an environment of disagreements, divergence, and trust deficit within SCO.
  • Emerging narcotics and drugs network: increased narcotics and drugs network to finance the terrorist and extremist activities, gives a potential challenge to India’s objectives.
  • Border disputes with the member nations: India has a prevalent border dispute with the member nations, i.e., China and Pakistan, challenging the sovereignty and territorial integrity.
  • Chinese hegemonic interest: China’s hegemonic interests and narrow approach have made New Delhi and even some of the Central Asian Republics worried about the future of SCO itself.
  • Violation of SCO principles by the member states: Russian invasion on Ukraine and breakdown of international order, peace and stability in the region violates the core principles of SCO, i.e., maintain peace, stability and respecting the sovereignty of every nation.
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