Defence

Pakistan NSA rules out meeting with Indian counterpart on margins of SCO meeting

By Hindustan times

Pakistan National Security Adviser Moeed Yusuf has ruled out the possibility of a meeting with his Indian counterpart Ajit Doval on the margins of a meeting of top security officials of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) states in Tajikistan this week.

Doval and Yusuf are set to attend the in-person meeting of the secretaries of the security council of the eight SCO member states in Dushanbe during June 22-23, and this had triggered speculation about a meeting between the two officials against the backdrop of back-channel contacts between India and Pakistan.

“There is absolutely no possibility of any bilateral meeting with Indian counterpart at SCO,” Yusuf was quoted as saying by Pakistan’s Dawn newspaper.

At the last virtual meeting of NSAs of SCO member states in September 2020, Doval walked out after Yusuf projected a map that inaccurately depicted the borders of the two countries and included several Indian regions within Pakistan. At the time, Yusuf was special adviser to Pakistan’s prime minister on national security. He was formally appointed the NSA earlier this year.

Yusuf said he would meet his counterparts from Russia, China, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan in Dushanbe.

External affairs minister S Jaishankar and his Pakistani counterpart Shah Mahmood Qureshi have been in the same country at the same time twice in recent months, including the Heart of Asia conference on Afghanistan in Dushanbe in March, but did not hold a bilateral meeting. In April, Jaishankar and Qureshi had visited the United Arab Emirates at the same time.

Following a series of back-channel contacts between Indian and Pakistani security officials, the two countries recommitted themselves to the 2003 ceasefire on the Line of Control (LoC) in February.

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