September 2022 \ World News \ SCO SUMMIT—SAMARKAND
PM Modi moved among the world leaders like a sage

By Dr Amjad Ayub Mirza

The Economist magazine has termed the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) a ‘Talking Shop’ and perhaps rightly so. Once again vital regional challenges such as cooperation, connectivity and economy that the region faces have been ignored at the 22nd SCO Summit held in Samarkand, Uzbekistan, between September 15 and 16.

At least four of the permanent members of SCO are a loggerhead with each other or with their immediate neighbours. The Russian war in Ukraine has created uncertainty about the global supply of gas and oil.

Pakistan is grappling with terrorism in its northern region of Khyber Pakhtunkhawa as well as wrestling with armed separatists in southwestern province of Balochistan. Diplomatic tensions run high with Afghanistan after Pakistan accused the former of providing the UN designated terrorist Masood Azhar with sanctuary.

India is busy tackling terrorist infiltration from Pakistan as well as serious border tensions with China.

It was obvious from the start that this summit will not be a collective consultative conference but will end up becoming an opportunity for SCO member states to hold one-to-one meetings on the side lines.