PM Narendra Modi Likely to Skip Upcoming SCO Summit Next Month

Previously India was the President of the group which was taken over by Kazakhstan last year. The SCO summit was held virtually by India in July 2023. This year the summit is being hosted by Kazakh President Kassym-Jomaet Tokayev, who has proposed the establishment of a joint investment fund, among other initiatives that would be put on the table.

The Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) summit to be held in Kazakhstan next month will likely be skipped by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. and External Affairs Minister Dr S. Jaishanker will likely attend the meeting instead of the Prime Minister.
Sources close to the matter reveal that the Prime Minister has made the decision to not commute to Astana for the summit poised to be held on July 3-4, although his presence at the summit was confirmed earlier, and an advanced security team had carried out a Preliminary investigation with relation to the same.

Kazakhstan Takes Over The Presidency

Previously India was the President of the group which was taken over by Kazakhstan last year. The SCO summit was held virtually by India in July 2023. This year the summit is being hosted by Kazakh President Kassym-Jomaet Tokayev, who has proposed the establishment of a joint investment fund, among other initiatives that would be put on the table.

PM Modi’s first overseas trip upon assuming office for his third consecutive term was to Italy, where he participated in the G7 summit. This visit was part of his engagement in a multilateral gathering. India’s diplomatic calendar for this year is full, with upcoming events including the BRICS summit in Russia, the BIMSTEC summit in Bangkok, the G20 summit in Brazil, and the Future Summit in New York.

About SCO

The organisation was established in 2001 and it works as a political, economic and security group. The current members of the organization consist of China, Russia, India, Pakistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan.
Iran joined the club and became a full member in 2023, during this time the presidency of the grouping was held by India.
Its observer state is Belarus which is also poised to get full membership in the group.

The main objectives that SCO focuses on are regional security, counter-terrorism as well as economic alliance amongst the member states. The Eurasian region covers 60% of the membership in the grouping, and the grouping also consists of 40% of the world population and a staggering 30% of the world’s GDP.

India was inducted as a full member of the grouping in 2017 alongside Pakistan, which was the first-ever expansion the organisation had gone through in 2001.

Why India’s Presence In The Eurasian Body Is Important

The first thing that being a member of this organisation will do for India is increase its presence globally and strengthen its international stand. Now with a permanent membership India has a unique opportunity to scope out and constructively engage with the Eurasian region, and will be beneficial for extending mutual ties within this region.

Most importantly India will be able to address the issue of combating terrorism with much more precision. India stands to gain significantly by enhancing cooperation, particularly through active involvement in established SCO initiatives like the Regional Anti-Terrorist Structure (RATS), which facilitates crucial information sharing on terrorist activities and drug trafficking. Moreover, participating in the SCO’s counter-terrorism exercises and annual military drills will provide valuable insights for the Indian armed forces into the operational strategies of other militaries.

When it comes to resources India has to gain a lot with its partnership with the Central Asian countries. India is an importer of natural gas and is also one of the biggest energy-consuming countries in the world. The central-Asian region boasts of abundant natural gas resources and minerals, the region consists of almost 4% of the world’s natural gas resources and 3% of oil.

India looks at this region as a vital source of oil, gas and minerals as the energy consumption and demand in India is ever rising. The SCO could also help advance the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) pipeline project.

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