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Tajikistan urges SCO members to cooperate with Afghanistan

AT Monitoring Desk-KABUL: Prime Minister of Tajikistan, Kokhir Rasulzoda, urged the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) member countries to actively cooperate with Afghanistan.

Addressing a meeting of the SCO Heads of Government Council, Rasulzoda said that Afghanistan should be actively engaged in order the country to develop in economic, scientific and technical areas.

Despite its important geo-strategic position in South, Central and East Asia security and politics, Afghanistan has not received full membership of the SCO.

Lawmakers and analysts believe that membership of Afghanistan in SCO is vital for fixing the country’s fragile economy. They say that full membership would increase investment and trade in the country.

Afghanistan has the membership of ECO and SAARC but it is said that the organizations have had symbolic role and the goals of them have not been achieved due to competition among member countries of the organizations.

Local analysts say that SCO membership would be of little help when it comes to peace and security in Afghanistan.

  1. Nadeem Alizai, a security affairs analyst in Kabul, said that most of the SCO members are focused on their narrowly defined interests and failed to establish a joint anti-terrorism mechanism.

“If the SCO was a helpful organization, Pakistan, India and China will have enjoyed friendly ties. When we speak about fighting terrorism and regional stability, these countries are miles apart. Most importantly the organization is influenced by Beijing and Moscow. The two powerful countries drive the SCO in a direction which suits them,” he opined.

Explaining his viewpoint, Alizai said the SCO members, except India, are taking little interest in Afghanistan’s security as evident from growing violence. In the first eight months of 2016, at least 5,523 Afghan servicemen lost their lives. “The SCO member-states always talk about regional stability and security in Afghanistan.  But they have not expressed concerns over the heavy casualties suffered by Afghan security forces, let alone fighting terrorism jointly,” he said.

Urging for effective role of the SCO’s Regional Anti-Terrorism Structure (RATS), he said the SCO would not be different than SAARC if the leaders of member countries failed to take Afghanistan’s security and economic development seriously.

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