SCO shouldn’t hesitate to criticise nations supporting terrorism: PM Modi

PM Narendra Modi said that the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) should not hesitate to criticise nations that support terrorism

New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday said that the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) should not hesitate to criticise nations that support terrorism.

Addressing the virtual SCO Summit, Modi said: “There are countries who support cross border terrorism and use terrorism as their policy instrument and give shelter to terrorists. The SCO should not hesitate to criticise such countries.”

The Summit is being attended by Russian President Vladimir Putin, Chinese President Xi Jinping, Pakistan Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, as well as leaders of the other SCO member states Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.

This is Putin’s first appearance at an international forum after Russia crushed a coup attempt by the Wagner mercenary group late last month.

Prime Minister Modi added that on such serious matters, there shouldn’t be any scope for double standards, adding that terror financing and spread of radicalisation among the youth need to be strongly dealt with by SCO.

He said the joint statement which will issued at the Summit will also focus on these issues.

He added that the territorial integrity of every country should also be respected.

“The SCO has emerged as a key platform for peace, prosperity, development of Eurasia. We do not see the SCO as an extended neighbourhood, but rather as an extended family,” Modi said in his virtual address.

“Security, economic development, connectivity, unity, respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity, and environmental protection are the pillars of our vision for SCO.”

The Prime Minister added that the SCO should also work for the welfare of Afghan people and provide humanitarian aid.

“India’s concerns and expectations regarding Afghanistan are similar to those of most of the SCO countries. We have to make joint efforts for the welfare of the people of Afghanistan.”

Modi also said he was “extremely happy that Iran is joining SCO as a new member today”.

India had assumed the presidency of the SCO last year in September from Uzbekistan.

It hopes to end its presidency of the Eurasian group with a consensus in the form of a joint communique that will address, among other things, issues related to counter-terrorism, de-radicalisation, connectivity, Afghanistan, energy and the need for improvement in the architecture of global governance.

The theme of the SCO summit is ‘SECURE’ — S: Security; E: Economic development; C: Connectivity; U: Unity; R: Respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity; E: Environmental protection.

Other than the member countries, Iran, Belarus and Mongolia have also been invited as Observer States.

According to the SCO tradition, Turkmenistan has also been invited as the guest of the Chair.

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