Delhi hosts SCO-RATS meet; Afghanistan situation in focus

India, Pakistan and other member-states of Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) on Monday deliberated on boosting cooperation in combating various regional security challenges at a meeting hosted by New Delhi.

The three-day meeting is taking place under the framework of the SCO’s Regional Anti-Terrorist Structure (RATS).

A major focus of the discussions was to be on the situation in Afghanistan, especially in dealing with the threat from terror groups active in the Taliban-ruled country, sources said. Pakistan, sources said, has sent a three-member team — an official each from the Interior, Defence and Foreign ministries — for the meeting.

India assumed chairmanship of the Council of Regional Anti-Terrorist Structure of SCO (RATS SCO) on October 28 last year for a period of one year. India has shown keen interest in deepening its security-related cooperation with the SCO and its Regional Anti-Terrorism Structure, which specifically deals with issues relating to security and defence.

A similar conference was organised by India in December in which all member-states took part.

The SCO is an economic and security grouping and has emerged as one of the largest transregional international organisations. The member-states of SCO are Russia, China, India, Pakistan, Kyrgyz Republic, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.