India warned not to be ‘poison’ for SCO cooperation, as it seeks influence on Afghan issue
Published: Sep 17, 2021 04:23 PM
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi  Photo: Xinhua

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi Photo: Xinhua

Chinese experts on Friday warned India not to be "poison" for cooperation under the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), as New Delhi has shown a keen interest in using the SCO, which has become the most important platform on the Afghan issue, to maintain its interests in Afghanistan.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi discussed the Afghan issue and connectivity with Central Asia at the SCO summit in the Tajik capital Dushanbe on Friday. Indian media reports said that the summit would provide India with the opportunity to follow the situation in Afghanistan.

Chinese analysts reminded SCO members to be vigilant of India, which may undercut the efficiency of the SCO by bringing its disputes with some members into regional cooperation, and urged India not to be "poison of the multilateral mechanism." 

Qian Feng, director of the research department at the National Strategy Institute at Tsinghua University, told the Global Times on Friday that the SCO is of great importance to India, which was excluded from several international platforms on the Afghan issue, and it looked forward to getting to know the latest moves of the Taliban government and hoped to use the SCO to better restrain Taliban.

India has clearly seen the significance of the SCO, which is expected to include Iran as a member, making it the most important platform on the Afghan issue with all of Afghanistan's major neighbors as members, Qian said. 

India could cooperate with other SCO members on humanitarian assistance to Afghanistan and counter-terrorism cooperation to prevent the spillover of terrorism, experts said.

The summit in Dushanbe gathers the leaders of all Afghanistan's neighbors for the first time after the Taliban announced an interim government. A joint declaration on Afghan issues may come out of the summit, according to experts.

On the sidelines of the SCO summit, Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi met with Indian External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on Thursday, during which Wang said China hopes India will work with China to stabilize the border situation and and the two sides should jointly safeguard peace and tranquility in border areas and prevent the recurrence of border-related incidents.

Wang said that communication between the diplomatic and military departments of the two countries was effective, and the situation on the border area is on an overall easing trend.

Jaishankar said that unity among Asian countries cannot be achieved without India-China cooperation, and India is ready to strengthen communication and coordination with China within the framework of the BRICS and the SCO to jointly tackle terrorism and other global challenges.

But If India doesn't take practical actions to ease tension with China and Pakistan, it cannot integrate itself in the SCO mechanism, and the consequences will be India's security being threatened, Qian said.

Analysts also called on India to seriously reflect on itself and not be a troublemaker for multilateral cooperation.