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Pakistan, China may not join SCO NSAs meet physically, to attend virtually

India will emphasise optimising the use of Iran's Chabahar Port and the International North-South Transport Corridor (INSTC) as inclusive connectivity initiatives for Eurasia

China's population likely declined last year as births hit new low

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China and Pakistan may not be physically present at the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) National Security Advisors' meeting, The Economic Times (ET) has reported. NSA Ajit Doval will host the meeting scheduled for March 29.

However, representatives from both countries are expected to participate virtually. The meeting will be attended by the NSA from Russia along with NSAs representing Central Asian countries.

The NSAs from the Eurasian countries will focus on regional connectivity, counter-terror measures, and cross-border terrorism, apart from the drug menace and the Afghan situation, ET reported, quoting people familiar with the development.

India will emphasise optimising using Iran's Chabahar Port and the International North-South Transport Corridor (INSTC) as inclusive connectivity initiatives for Eurasia.

Cyberspace is another important domain that will capture the leaders' attention at the SCO summit. The report added that India has communicated its commitment to tackle the smuggling of illegal arms and ammunition in the region.

The SCO's NSA mechanism is a key element of the grouping and would help prepare for the SCO summit under India's presidency in early July. India is scheduled to host the SCO foreign ministers meeting in Goa.

Afghanistan is likely to be one of the priorities at the meeting, as the Afghan people are in dire need of humanitarian assistance.

India became a member of the SCO in June 2017. Iran is expected to join the grouping as its newest member at the July summit.

Earlier, India had invited Pakistan's defence minister, Khawaja Asif, interior minister, Rana Sanaullah, and Pakistan's National Security Advisor, Moeed Yusuf, to attend the SCO meeting, which will be held in New Delhi.

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First Published: Mar 27 2023 | 12:21 PM IST

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