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SOURCE: ANI

National Security Advisor Ajit Doval led a delegation at the 19th Meeting of Secretaries of the Security Council of Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) in Astana. In his address, Doval highlighted the need to shun double standards and hold sponsors, financiers and facilitators of terrorism accountable.

In his address, NSA Doval stated that any act of terror committed by whomsoever, whenever and for whatever reasons is not justified. He asserted that perpetrators of terrorism should be effectively and expeditiously dealt with, including those involved in cross-border terrorism.

He raised the issue of the continued threat posed by various terror groups in the SCO region, including those designated by the United Nations Security Council (UNSC), including Al Qaeda and its affiliates, ISIS & its affiliates, Lashkar-e-Taiba and Jaish-e-Muhammad.

NSA Doval stressed the need to counter the use of technology by terrorists, including drones for cross-border smuggling of weapons and drugs. He said that India supports the creation of effective mechanisms for countering terror financing and supports further strengthening of the Regional Anti-Terrorist Structure (RATS) SCO in this regard.

Highlighting the ties between SCO nations and India, he stated that the relationship goes back several centuries and is committed to further deepening it. He emphasised that India is committed to enhancing transit trade and connectivity, which he stressed must be fully respectful of sovereignty and territorial integrity of SCO member States.

In a post on X, the Indian Embassy in Kazakhstan stated, “Shri Ajit Doval, NSA led delegation at 19th Meeting of Secretaries of Security Council of @sco_rblx in #Astana. NSA Ajit Doval also called on the President of Kazakhstan @TokayevKZ along with Representatives of other Member States.”

In his speech, he strongly condemned the terrorist attack at Crocus City Hall in Moscow on March 22 and offered condolences to the families who have lost their loved ones. He also conveyed India’s solidarity with the government and the people of Russia to address the threat from terrorism in all its forms and manifestations conveyed India’s solidarity with the government and the people of Russia to Russian NSA Nikolai Patrushev and addressing the threat from terrorism in all its forms and manifestations.

NSA Ajit Doval expressed deep concern about the security situation in Afghanistan, including the continued presence of terrorist networks. He stated that India, as a contiguous neighbour of Afghanistan, has legitimate security and economic interests in Afghanistan.

He stated that SCO’s immediate priorities in Afghanistan include providing humanitarian assistance, ensuring the formation of a truly inclusive and representative government, combating terrorism and drug trafficking, and preserving the rights of women, children and minorities.

NSA Doval stated that India has invested USD 3 billion in Afghanistan and supplied 50000 metric tonnes of wheat, 250 tonnes of medical aid, and 40000 litres of Malathion pesticide to fight the locust menace in Afghanistan. Notably, Afghanistan has been in an economic and financial crisis ever since the Taliban seized control of the country.

During his visit, NSA Doval and representatives of other member states called on Kazakhstan President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev. During the meeting, Doval conveyed India’s support for Kazakh initiatives in SCO and a successful presidency.

He expressed India’s commitment to further deepen its ties with the SCO and its member states in a proactive and constructive manner. He stressed that security is India’s priority in the SCO, as promulgated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in line with his vision for a SECURE SCO.

The acronym SECURE stands for Security, Economic Cooperation, Connectivity, Unity, Respect for Sovereignty and Territorial Integrity, and Environment Protection.