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NSA Moeed Yusuf will not meet Indian, Afghan counterparts during SCO meeting

National Security Advisor Dr Moeed Yusuf. Source: FILE

ISLAMABAD: National Security Advisor Dr Moeed Yusuf has left for Dushanbe on Sunday to participate in the 16th meeting of the Secretaries of the Security Council of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) member states being held on 22-23 June 2021.

During the visit, he will participate in the joint session of the National Security Advisors of the member states and also sign the Protocol of the Sixteenth Meeting of the Security Council Secretaries.

The office of the NSA has confirmed that Yusuf will not meet his Indian counterpart who will also be attending the SCO summit.

Last year, the meeting was held virtually in which India had walked out on Yusuf’s refusal to remove Pakistan’s political map from his background.

During the visit, Yusuf may also meet with his counterparts from Russia, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan and China to discuss matters of mutual interest.

Prime Minister Imran Khan has already reiterated Pakistan’s stance that there will be no dialogue with India till it revisits its illegal and unilateral action of August 5, 2019 and restores the autonomous status of occupied Jammu and Kashmir.

There is speculation that the Afghan NSA Hamdullah Mohib, who had levelled baseless allegations against Pakistan, will also be in Dushanbe as Afghanistan is an Observer of SCO. However, no meeting is expected between the Pakistani and Afghan NSAs in Dushanbe either.

The upcoming SCO meeting is especially important as Prime Minister Imran Khan is expected to visit Dushanbe for the SCO Heads of State Council meeting later this year.

President of Tajikistan Emomali Rahmon already visited Pakistan on 2-3 June 2021 and met with President Dr Arif Alvi and Prime Minister Imran Khan.

It may be mentioned here that established on 15 June 2001, this year was also the 20th anniversary of the establishment of the SCO.

China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyz Republic, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan are the founding members of the organisation. Pakistan joined SCO in 2017.