NSA Doval pitches for ‘action plan’ by SCO against Pak-based terror groups LeT, JeM


PTI, Jun 24, 2021, 8:02 PM IST

New Delhi: National Security Advisor Ajit Doval has pitched for an ”action plan” against Pakistan-based terror groups Lashkar-e-Taiba and Jaish-e-Mohammed under the framework of eight-nation grouping SCO and called for expeditiously bringing the perpetrators of terror attacks to justice.

At an in-person meeting of top security officials of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) in Tajikistan’s capital Dushanbe on Wednesday, he also called for full implementation of the UN resolutions and targeted sanctions against UN-designated terrorist individuals and entities, official sources said. Doval also emphasised the adoption of international standards to counter terror financing and suggested having a memorandum of understanding between the SCO and anti-terror watchdog FATF (Financial Action Task Force).

Strongly condemning terrorism in all forms and manifestations, he said the perpetrators of terrorism including cross-border terror attacks should be expeditiously brought to justice. The NSA proposed an action plan against Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) and Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) as part of the SCO framework, the sources said.

The LeT and JeM were involved in a series of terror attacks in India. In his remarks, Doval also pitched for monitoring of new technologies being used by terrorists including drones for smuggling of weapons and misuse of dark web, artificial intelligence, blockchain and social media.

On the sidelines of the meeting, Doval had an over two-hour-long meeting with Russian NSA Nikolai Patrushev. The sources said they discussed contemporary developments of bilateral, regional and global significance.

At the meeting, Doval, referring to developments in Afghanistan, said that there is a need to preserve the gains made in the last two decades and give top priority to the welfare of the Afghan people. He said India fully supports SCO Contact Group on Afghanistan and it should be more active. Doval said that though India became a member of the bloc in 2017, it has physical, spiritual, cultural and philosophical linkages for centuries with countries that make up the SCO. The NSA also pitched for greater connectivity including through initiatives like Chahbahar, INSTC, regional air corridors and Ashgabat Agreement, adding connectivity leads to economic gains and trust. At the same time, he said connectivity must respect the sovereignty and territorial integrity.

The SCO, seen as a counterweight to NATO, is an eight-member economic and security bloc and has emerged as one of the largest transregional international organisations. India and Pakistan became its permanent members in 2017.

The SCO was founded at a summit in Shanghai in 2001 by the presidents of Russia, China, Kyrgyz Republic, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.

India has shown keen interest in deepening its security-related cooperation with the SCO and its Regional Anti-Terrorism Structure (RATS) which specifically deals with issues relating to security and defence.

India was made an observer at the SCO in 2005 and has generally participated in the ministerial-level meetings of the grouping which focus mainly on security and economic cooperation in the Eurasian region.

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