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OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 9/18/21

SCO rejects external meddling under the guise of counter-terrorism, human rights

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The Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) Friday vowed to build a community of shared future and oppose interference from outside forces under the excuse of counter-terrorism and human rights.

The 21st Meeting of the Council of Heads of State of the SCO was held on Friday with leaders of member states attending by video link and in-person in Dushanbe, the capital city of Tajikistan, as it holds the SCO presidency this year. Friday's SCO meeting marks the 20th anniversary of the organization's establishment.

In a declaration, the member states members pledged to support Afghanistan to become an independent, neutral, united, democratic and peaceful country and to eliminate terrorism, wars and drugs. It is also very important to build an inclusive government engaged with all ethnic groups, religious and political forces, according to the declaration.

The SCO members on Friday also agreed to urge Afghanistan to firmly crack down on all terrorist groups, and the Chinese President Xi said that relevant parties in Afghanistan should be urged to resolutely crack down on and eradicate terrorist organizations in the Afghan territory and prevent terrorist forces in Afghanistan from wreaking havoc.

In order to improve the mechanisms for countering security challenges and threats, the SCO member states are considering the following initiatives: on the creation of the SCO Anti-Drug Center in the city of Dushanbe as a separate permanent body (Republic of Tajikistan), on the establishment of the SCO on t he basis of the Regional Anti-Terrorist Structure (RATS) in the city of Tashkent The Universal Center for Countering Security Challenges and Threats of the SCO Member States (Russian Federation), on the establishment of the SCO Information Security Center (Republic of Kazakhstan), on the establishment of the Center for Countering International Organized Crime in the city of Bishkek (Kyrgyz Republic).

The member also states reaffirmed the need to intensify common efforts to prevent terrorism and its financing, including in the context of the implementation of existing world standards in the field of combating money laundering and financing of terrorism, as well as suppressing the spread of terrorist, separatist and extremist ideology that feeds it.

The SCO, established 20 years ago to initially focus on regional security affairs, now sees its teamwork covering various fields. The organization was first expanded in 2017 when India and Pakistan joined as full members. Along with its six founding members - China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan, the bloc has eight full members, four observer countries and six dialogue partners.

On Friday, the SCO also admitted Iran as a member of the SCO and Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Qatar as new dialogue partners.

After 20 years of development, the SCO has become a solid shield for state members to adhere to independent development and to resist destructive interference from outside forces, Li Haidong, a professor at the Institute of International Relations of the China Foreign Affairs University, told the Global Times.

The inclusive Shanghai Spirit has made a sharp comparison to the small cliques led by the US and "the reasons why we are stressing the spirit is that the US and its allies keep sowing disturbance and making mess globally by willfully interfering in other countries' domestic affairs," Li said.

Li noted that the SCO focuses on defending common interests of member states in the global changes. It also shoulders the responsibility of ensuring the international order being evolved with justice and fairness that fits the interests of the majority of countries and is not affected by a certain country with a Cold War mentality.

India warned not to be 'poison' for SCO cooperation

Meanwhile, Chinese experts on Friday warned India not to be "poison" for cooperation under the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), as New Delhi has shown a keen interest in using the SCO, which has become the most important platform on the Afghan issue, to maintain its interests in Afghanistan.

Chinese analysts reminded SCO members to be vigilant of India, which may undercut the efficiency of the SCO by bringing its disputes with some members into regional cooperation, and urged India not to be "poison of the multilateral mechanism."

Qian Feng, director of the research department at the National Strategy Institute at Tsinghua University, told the Global Times on Friday that the SCO is of great importance to India, which was excluded from several international platforms on the Afghan issue, and it looked forward to getting to know the latest moves of the Taliban government and hoped to use the SCO to better restrain Taliban.

But If India doesn't take practical actions to ease tension with China and Pakistan, it cannot integrate itself in the SCO mechanism, and the consequences will be India's security being threatened, Qian said.

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Abdus-Sattar Ghazali Social Media Pages: Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in       Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in       Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in       Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in

Author and journalist. Author of Islamic Pakistan: Illusions & Reality; Islam in the Post-Cold War Era; Islam & Modernism; Islam & Muslims in the Post-9/11 America. Currently working as free lance journalist. Executive Editor of American (more...)
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