India’s defense minister Rajnath Singh reached Moscow on September 02 on a three-day visit to Russia to attend the combined meeting of Defence Ministers of Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO). He took part in the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) on September 04.
Addressing a ministerial meeting of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) in Moscow, the Defense Minister of India underlined conditions for regional pace as well as importance of cooperation in combating terrorism.
Major highlights of Indian Defense Minister’s speech
- The Defense Minister of India said that a climate of trust, non-aggression, sensitivity towards each other and peaceful resolution of differences are among key aspects to ensure regional peace and stability.
- He gave a message that it is necessary to end the aggressive attitude for regional stability peace and condemned terrorism and its supporters. He also appreciated that it is a big decision to adopt anti-terror mechanism to deal with extremist propaganda and to eliminate radicalism.
- His remarks came in the backdrop of a tense border standoff between Indian and Chinese soldiers, continuing along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) for more than three-and-half months. It is notable that these comments were made by him in the presence of Chinese Defense Minister Gen. Wei Fenghe.
- He also said that we need institutional capacity to deal with traditional and non-traditional threats, terrorism, drug trafficking and crimes between nations.
- He assured the member countries about India’s commitment to the development of global security. And also that it will be transparent, open, inclusive to all, based on rules and with the values of international law.
- The Defense Minister also expressed concern over the current situation in Afghanistan and said that India will continue to support the people and government of Afghanistan towards the Afghan-led and Afghan-controlled peace process.
- He also expressed concern about the situation in the Gulf countries (Persian Gulf) region.
India initially kept silent on the China’s Defense Minister Wei Fenghe’s request for a meeting, but later it was decided to take place on the night of September 04. In fact India did this to re-assure the member countries of SCO as well as to show the world that it is responsible power and it is inclined to solve disputes and problems through peaceful negotiations. The border dispute between the two countries started deepening in May, after which the armies of the two countries came face to face twice in June and August. In June, 20 Indian soldiers were killed in the clash, while China is still hiding its casualties. In fact the defense minister of India maintained a balanced approach as usual and reiterated that India believes in peaceful negotiations for resolving disputes despite China’s recent misadventures based on its military expansionist approach. China has a deceitful approach as it claims that it wants to solve the border dispute with India through diplomatic negotiations, but it frequently tries to violate the status quo along the LAC. Reference to terrorism and its supporters was intended against Pakistan’s support for terrorist outfits and their use against India.
The Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO), or Shanghai Pact, is a Eurasian political, economic, and security alliance. It was created on 15th June 2001 in Shanghai by the leaders of China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan. The Shanghai Cooperation Organisation Charter, for formally establishing the organisation, was signed in June 2002 and entered into force on 19 September 2003.
The original five nations, with the exclusion of Uzbekistan, were previously members of the Shanghai Five group, founded on 26 April 1996. Since then, the organisation has expanded its membership to eight countries when India and Pakistan joined SCO as full members on 9 June 2017 at a summit in Astana, Kazakhstan.
The Heads of State Council (HSC) is the supreme decision-making body in the SCO, it meets once a year and adopts decisions and guidelines on all important matters of the organisation. Military exercises are also regularly conducted among members to promote cooperation and coordination against terrorism and other external threats, and to maintain regional peace and stability. The SCO is the largest regional organisation in the world in terms of geographical coverage and population, covering three-fifths of the Eurasian continent and nearly half of the human population.