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ISLAMABAD: National Security Advisor Dr Moeed Yusuf is leaving for Dushanbe today (Sunday) to participate in the 16th meeting of the secretaries of Security Council of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) member states being held on 22-23 June. According to the sources, the National Security Advisor (NSA) will participate in the joint session of the National Security Advisors of the member states, and also sign the Protocol of the Sixteenth Meeting of the Security Council Secretaries.

Last year, the meeting was held virtually, in which India had walked out on Dr Yusuf’s refusal to remove Pakistan’s political map from his background.

Dr Yusuf may also meet with his counterparts from Russian Federation, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, and China to discuss matters of mutual interests. However, the office of the NSA has confirmed that Dr Yusuf will not be meeting his Indian counterpart, who will also be attending the SCO summit.

There is speculation that the Afghan NSA Hamdullah Mohib will also be in Dushanbe. Afghanistan is an observer of the SCO but is not invited to the meeting. “Mohib has recently made multiple baseless accusations against Pakistan. Pakistan has responded formally, accusing him of undermining the progress towards peace in Afghanistan. Pakistan has reportedly stopped engaging with him,” an official said.

It is, therefore, not surprising that no meeting is expected between the NSAs of Pakistan and Afghanistan in Dushanbe either. The upcoming SCO meeting is of special importance as Prime Minister Imran Khan is expected to visit Dushanbe for the SCO Heads of State Council meeting later this year.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021

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