Counter-Terrorism: Can SCO be a key player?

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SCO Summit 2022

Despite the high talks on combating terrorism the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation failed to take effective measures when the Taliban took over Afghanistan. Also, it has not blatantly censured some of the member countries that have been the sponsor of cross-border terrorism. Will the present SCO summit be successful in giving attention to cross-border terrorism? Find out:

The counter-terrorism part of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) agenda has always been very important. There is a specific SCO organization called Regional Anti-Terrorist Structure (RATS) to boost cooperation and coordination in combating regional security challenges. In measuring any international organization on the ground reality there is a vast gap between achievement and expectation. This also applies to SCO.

It is a fact that SCO on a whole was not a major player when events in Afghanistan that had a wider impact on the overall counter-terrorism perspective remained muted and ineffective.

Despite the cynicism, RATS had some achievements in counter-terrorism but that remain below the radar. It gives a sense of cooperation among the members on counter-terrorism.

Unfortunately in our region terrorism has deep structural roots. To a large extent, It is hard-wired into the societies of some of the member countries.

SCO will provide a platform for India to raise the issue of terrorism which it has been actively doing at various multilateral platforms including the United Nations since 1996. Many of the member countries of the SCO have been the victims of terrorism.

When India takes over the presidency of SCO for the coming year very soon it will be focusing on anti-terrorism cooperation very aggressively for building an actionable and sustainable approach on how to deal with the issue of terrorism.

India has shown flexibility by talking to Pakistan in addressing the situation in Afghanistan. Since Pakistan is a member of the SCO group India may use its platform to convey its concerns.

India in October last year has become the chair of the executive council of RATS for a year. Indian Foreign Secretary Vinay Mohan Kwatra has said that RATS has decided to work towards creating a unified register of terrorists and extremist organizations that are prohibited by SCO member states.

Also, it will be interesting to watch that Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi who is attending the SCO summit will hold a bilateral summit with Pakistani leaders or not.

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