Prime Minister Narendra Modi is on a visit to Samarkand for the SCO Summit. SCO stands for Shanghai Cooperation Organization. Apart from this summit, PM Modi will also hold bilateral meetings with different heads of state. It is also expected that the Prime Minister can also meet Chinese President Xi Jinping and Pakistan PM Shahbaz Sharif. However, this is not fixed at the moment nor is there any schedule for it. But it is certain that this visit of PM becomes important for India in many ways beyond SCO. So let’s try to understand what hopes India is looking for in this gathering of heads of state of Asian countries in Samarkand, Uzbekistan.
These days all is not going well among the member countries of SCO. Relations between India and Pakistan have been frozen since the 2019 Pulwama terror attack. India and China are face to face in Eastern Ladakh since April 2020. Russia and China are friends up and down, but with the speed at which China has progressed, it is bound to be uncomfortable for Russia. In order to increase dominance, Russia had made a big bet by attacking Ukraine, which is going backfire. China is troubled by the Kovid lockdown. And there is an energy crisis all over the world. In such a situation, if the heads of state of all these countries are able to come and talk at one table, then a solution is found. You will ask what will you talk about even if the opponents sit together. So we answer this with an example.
In November 2008 there was 26/11 terrorist attack on Mumbai. Those responsible for this attack were sitting in Pakistan. Tension had increased on both sides. Then in June 2009, on the pretext of the SCO meeting, the Prime Minister of India Manmohan Singh and the Prime Minister of Pakistan Asif Ali Zardari met. In Ekaterinburg, Russia, then Manmohan Singh said to Zardari,
“Prime Minister, I am glad to meet you. But it is my responsibility to tell you that Pakistan should not be used for terrorism.
Even if there is no immediate benefit from it. But the tension and discomfort subsided. A path of dialogue opened up. Similarly, it is also about this time’s SCO summit. Shahbaz Sharif and Prime Minister Modi are going to meet face to face for the first time. Similarly, after the conflict in Galvan Valley in June 2020, this will be the first time that Prime Minister Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping will be face to face. Official announcement not yet made, But it is possible that there may be talks between the two leaders or the delegation accompanying both the leaders. If not official, then the path of unofficial talks is always open.
Apart from this, India will meet two more of its best friends. Russia and Iran. There is no need to give a separate discourse on India’s friendship with Russia. The thing is that Russia is a little uncomfortable about the way India has moved closer to the West in the past. Whether it is the purchase of weapons or organizations like QUAD. So by going to the platform where Russia is present, India wants to give two messages – one to Russia, that India respects its friendship. And he’s not ashamed to stand by her. To the other world – that world cannot simply mean Europe, America or the West. India will build relations according to its interests. And while making these relations, the attitude will also be Indian. Russia is facing enormous sanctions due to the Ukraine war. In such a situation, he looks towards India with great hope.
As for Iran, we have thousands of years old relations with it. From there we used to import oil. We had invested trillions in Chabahar. But due to US sanctions, India made some distance from Iran. Especially with regard to oil imports. But the way New Delhi has shown confidence in buying oil from Russia after the Ukraine crisis, Iran is hoping that its fate may also open. This can also be a profitable deal for India because if India moves closer to Iran in a sanctions environment, then Iran will also give some exemption. If President Reisi and Prime Minister Modi meet, then there can be talk about this. Keeping all these things in mind, Prime Minister Modi has gone to Babur’s city Samarkand.