In Focus Afghanistan Current Situation: SCO and the CSTO Summit
The SCO and CSTO member states are close neighbors of Afghanistan, and they also are part of a community with a shared future and security.
After the Taliban announced an interim government, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization's (SCO) Council of Heads of State gathered in Dushanbe, Tajikistan, on September 16 and 17 for a combined summit with the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) member nations on Afghanistan.
The situation in Afghanistan has recently undergone fundamental changes, according to SCO and CSTO member states, which have had a significant impact on the international situation, regional structure, and security and stability. Afghanistan is currently confronted with numerous difficulties and challenges. All Afghans must work together to restore normalcy as soon as possible and achieve a soft landing of the situation. The international community, as well as regional countries, must keep a close eye on the situation. The SCO and CSTO member states are close neighbors of Afghanistan, and they also are part of a community with a shared future and security. In critical moments, the member states must work together to protect peace and stability.
President Emomali Rahmon of Tajikistan called on SCO and CSTO members to build a “reliable security belt around Afghanistan" to prevent terrorist groups from expanding in the region. "The current developments, as well as the high risks of a catastrophic scenario," President Rahmon told the Dushanbe gathering, "confirm the necessity of assisting countries bordering Afghanistan. The entire burden of negative impacts" following the international coalition's withdrawal from Afghanistan, according to Rahmon, "will be placed on Afghanistan's neighboring countries."
Furthermore, contrary to their claims, the Taliban are pursuing the goal of establishing an Islamic emirate with rules that are alien to the modern era, and the government they have established is made up entirely of Taliban members. In order to counter "challenges and threats" emanating from Taliban-led Afghanistan, he said the SCO's regional anti-terrorist structure needs to be strengthened, as well as "the interaction of our countries law enforcement agencies and special services."
While, expressing his views on Afghanistan’s Imran Khan, Pakistan's Prime Minister, at the 20th Shanghai Cooperation Organization Council of Heads of State (SCO-CHS) meeting, "The Taliban must keep their promises, especially in terms of establishing an inclusive political structure that includes all ethnic groups. This is crucial for Afghanistan's long-term stability." The prime minister also added that it was also critical to respect all Afghans' rights while ensuring that the country would never again be a safe haven for terrorists. PM Imran while speaking about the situation in Afghanistan, said that a "new reality" had emerged following the Taliban's takeover and the withdrawal of foreign troops.
"The fact that none of this happened in the midst of the bloodshed, civil war, or a mass exodus of refugees should be a source of relief." It is now in the collective interest of the international community to ensure that there is no new conflict in Afghanistan and that the security situation is stabilized."
Moreover, the previous government was heavily reliant on foreign aid, and its removal could result in economic collapse; now was the time to stand firmly and unequivocally with the Afghans. He praised the Secretary-General of the United Nations and UN agencies for mobilizing support for humanitarian aid and said Pakistan was also helping with evacuations and providing support. The prime minister also stated that long-term peace and stability in Afghanistan will be beneficial to the region and that the government's focus has shifted from geopolitics to geo-economics.
Similarly, in his address to the SCO summit, the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi stated that recent developments in Afghanistan will have the greatest impact on neighboring countries such as India and that the situation in the country requires regional focus and cooperation. Continued insecurity and fundamentalism in Afghanistan, Modi warned, would encourage terrorist and extremist ideologies around the world. He further added, "Other extremist groups can be encouraged to gain power through violence." In the end, Prime Minister Modi urged world leaders to ensure that humanitarian aid reaches Afghanistan without delay.
Vladimir Putin President of Russia made the remarks via video link while attending the 21st meeting of the Council of Heads of State of the SCO and member states of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) on Afghanistan. He stated that the events in Afghanistan have a direct impact on the SCO member states' security interests and that the bloc must focus on supporting an inclusive and peaceful resolution to the Afghan conflict. Putin stated that both organizations should work together to strengthen Eurasian security as a whole.
According to Chinese state media, China's President Xi Jinping has stated that member countries of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) should assist in ensuring a smooth transition in Afghanistan. Afghanistan should be guided by SCO member states in developing an inclusive political structure and adhering to moderate internal and external policies, according to Xi. China, which has pledged aid and COVID-19 vaccine doses to Afghanistan, has stated that the US and its allies have a responsibility to provide economic and humanitarian aid to the war-torn country.
In support of Afghanistan, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres also requested cooperation from members of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO). In a video message to the SCO summit in Dushanbe, Tajikistan, he said that troubling developments in Afghanistan are posing serious political, economic, security, and humanitarian challenges. He stated, "The UN is committed to delivering for the Afghan people", "We look forward to collaborating with you all to help the Afghan people."
According to the statement, the foreign ministers of Pakistan, Russia, China, and other countries met on the sidelines of the SCO and CSTO to discuss the situation in Afghanistan and issued a joint statement in which they expressed concern over the precarious humanitarian and economic conditions in Afghanistan and reaffirmed their commitment to promote peace, security, and stability in the region. They emphasized the importance of respecting Afghanistan's "sovereignty, independence, and territorial integrity."
The heads of SCO and CSTO member states emphasized that a country's affairs are decided by its people, and international affairs are handled by everyone through consultation. Under the premise of respecting Afghanistan's sovereignty, independence, and territorial integrity, we should support the implementation of the "Afghan-led, Afghan-owned" principle, allowing the Afghan people to decide for themselves their country's future and destiny.