India storms out of SCO meeting after Pakistan projects controversial map
Moeed Yusuf, the Pakistani representative at SCO meet, deliberately projected the new fictitious political map of Pakistan that claims J&K and parts of Gujarat as a part of Pakistani territory.
India’s National Security Advisor, Ajit Doval stormed out of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation’s virtual meeting of national security advisors on September 16, 2020 after Pakistan displayed its controversial map, which India calls “fictitious”, violating the agenda of the gathering.
The Indian delegation led by NSA Ajit Doval strongly objected to Pakistan’s attempt to project the illegal map showing Indian territory as its own. The chair of the meeting, Russia tried very hard to persuade Pakistan not to display the map and expressed hope this provocative act will not affect India's participation in SCO.
Moeed Yusuf, the Pakistani representative at SCO meet, deliberately projected the new fictitious political map of Pakistan that the Pakistani PM Imran Khan had released on August 4, 2020. The Pakistani map claims all of the entire erstwhile state of J&K, which is now organised into 2 separate union territories, and some parts of Gujarat as a part of Pakistani territory. The map was used as the background image for the meeting by Pakistan. Moeed Yusuf is a special assistant to Pakistan PM on national security.
Is it a violation of SCO norms?
Yes. Russia had said ahead of the SCO foreign ministers meeting last week that the SCO Charter doesn't allow any country to raise bilateral disputes even as it provides them a platform to build mutual trust.
What was India’s response to Pakistan’s move?
In an official response to the provocative move by Pakistan, MEA spokesperson Anurag Srivastava said that this was in blatant disregard to the advisory by the host against it and in violation of the norms of the meeting. Srivastava added that the Indian side left the meeting in protest after consultation with the host.
What was Russia's response to Pakistan's move?
Nikolai Patrushev, the Secretary of the National Security Council of the Russian Federation, conveyed to the Indian authorities that he was personally very grateful to NSA for attending the SCO Summit, according to sources.
According to Indian government sources, Nikolai Patrushev stated that “ Russia does not support what Pakistan did”, and hoped that its “provocative act will not affect India’s participation in SCO and not cast any shadow on his warm personal relationship with NSA for whom he has the highest regard.”
India has continued to take part in the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation, an influential Eurasian group focused on security and political issues, despite the presence of Pakistan and China.
India and Pakistan both had become full-time members of the SCO in 2017. India is also the host of this year’s SCO heads of government meeting. It has already said it will invite the Pakistan PM "as per established practice and procedure" of SCO.
While Russia wants the two countries to use SCO to find some "common ground", it's unlikely that will happen anytime soon with India unwilling to settle for anything less than zero tolerance to terrorism and Pakistan focused on acquiring Kashmir.