New Delhi: Defence Minister Rajnath Singh will be leaving for Tajikistan's capital Dushanbe on Tuesday (July 26) to participate in Shanghai Cooperation Organisation's Defence Ministers meet. Wednesday will be the main day of engagement, which will include a joint call on by SCO defence ministers with Tajikistan's President Emomali Rahmon.
Tajikistan is chair of the grouping which has eight member states — Russia, China, India, Pakistan, and 4 central Asian countries —Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan. Tajikistan will be holding the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation or SCO heads of state summit on September 16-17.
There is no confirmation that if Rajnath Singh will meet with his counterpart on the sidelines of the SCO meet or not. Remember Rajnath Singh and Chinese defence minister General Wei Fenghe had met on the sidelines of SCO meet last year in Moscow, a meet that came in the backdrop of Chinese aggression at Line of Actual Control in Eastern Ladakh.
The last 2 months have seen 2 important SCO meetings under Tajikistan's leadership. This includes, SCO National security advisor's meet and foreign ministers meet. The SCO foreign minister meet earlier this month saw External Affairs Minister Dr S Jaishankar and Chinese FM Wang Yi holding a meeting on the sidelines.
During the meet, the Indian side clearly told the Chinese side that "unilateral change of status quo is not acceptable" and called for "resolving the remaining issues along the LAC in Eastern Ladakh at the earliest" according to the readout by the ministry of external affairs.
Pakistan’s Defense Minister Parvez Khattak has arrived in Dushanbe for the meet. He will hold meetings with his Tajik, Uzbek, Russian, Chinese counterparts on the sidelines of the SCO DMs meet.
SCO as a grouping occupies 60 per cent of the Eurasian continent, which is over 34 million square kilometers on which 3 billion people-- that is almost half of the world's population. Mongolia, Belarus, Afghanistan, and Iran are its observers in the grouping, while, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Turkey, Cambodia, Nepal, and Sri Lanka received dialogue partner status.