Amid ongoing LoC tensions between the two countries, India’s National Security Advisor Ajit Doval and his Pakistan counterpart Moeed Yusuf will be in Dushanbe, Tajikistan, next week for the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO).
The 23rd June meet will see NSAs of SCO countries meeting in person.
Mohib and Doval could even hold a bilateral meeting in Dushanbe which comes in the backdrop of US withdrawal from Afghanistan and increased violence by the Taliban, according to a report by DNA.
While there is no confirmation of Indian and Pakistani NSAs having a bilateral meeting, or pull aside, the development comes at a time when both New Delhi and Islamabad have been cautious in ties in the last few months. February saw the Indian, Pakistan army agreeing to observe the 2003 ceasefire pact at the LOC in Kashmir. Since then the pact has stood and the area hasn’t seen any firing.
Since February this year, twice, both India’s external minister Dr S Jaishakar and Pakistan FM SM Qureshi have been in the same location but no meeting has happened.
In March, both were in Dushanbe for the Heart of Asia meet in Afghanistan, later in April, both were in UAE for a bilateral visit, respectively. Interestingly, Pak, Afghan NSA will also be present in Dushanbe.
SCO has 8 member states, Russia, China, India, Pakistan, and 4 central Asian countries-Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan.
Meanwhile, Pakistan said on Saturday that it would oppose any move by India to divide Kashmir and change its demography.
Pakistan’s Foreign Office said in a statement that Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi has stated that India must refrain from taking any further illegal steps in Kashmir after its actions of August 5, 2019.
The Pakistani statement came on a day when the Indian government invited 14 political leaders from Jammu and Kashmir to participate in a high-level meeting to be chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New Delhi on June 24, which is expected to set the road map for holding assembly elections in the Union Territory.