Pakistan is going to host a three-day Shanghai Cooperation Organisation-Regional Anti-Terrorist Structure (SCO-RATS) meeting in Islamabad from today – it’s first ever since the country became a member of SCO in June last year.
It will be the first summit of the SCO after India and Pakistan were admitted into the bloc last year. The SCO, in which China plays an influential role, is comprised of China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, India and Pakistan. India is likely to send senior representatives to discuss legal modalities of counter-terrorism for a meeting that Pakistan will host.
The confirmation came few hours after Pakistan in a formal statement confirmed India’s participation.
“The legal experts will discuss terrorist threats facing the region and ways and means to enhance counter-terrorism cooperation between SCO member states,” said the spokesperson for Pakistan in a statement.
“Pakistan supports SCO’s efforts for regional cooperation in fighting terrorism, drug trafficking and organised crime. We are ready to share our experiences in tackling the menace of terrorism through the SCO-RATS,” he added.
India’s presence holds importance as previously India boycotted the South Asian Association of Regional Cooperation (SAARC) summit in Islamabad in 2016 citing continuing support to cross-border terrorism from Pakistan.
When the SCO accepted Pakistan and India last year as new members, it gained more potential for cooperation and more expectations from the international community. The legal experts will discuss the terror threat faced by the region and ways and means to enhance the counter-terror efforts.