New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday said that some nations use cross-border terror as a part of their statecraft and also shelter terrorists, and added that SCO nations must not hesitate to criticise such countries, as Pakistan Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif was among the audience.
Addressing the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation leaders’ summit in virtual mode today, PM Modi said: “Some countries use cross-border terrorism as part of their state policy. They also give shelter to terrorists.
“The SCO should not hesitate to criticise such nations,” the PM said, in apparent reference to Pakistan, and also China which has repeatedly blocked attempts to blacklist terrorists being harboured by Islamabad.
The PM said that terrorism is the biggest danger to regional and global peace and called for nations to unite in combatting terrorism, irrespective of its forms.
Referring to the Covid pandemic and the Ukraine conflict and its geopolitical impact, the PM said that the world is enveloped by divisiveness and tension, which has led to a crisis in food, fuel and fertilisers.
He said the SCO should deliberate on whether they as a group have been able to fulfil the aspirations of their people, and whether they are able to tackle the modern-day problems.
“Is the SCO evolving into an organisation that is fully geared to tackle the problems of the future?” the PM asked.
He also said that the SCO has emerged as a major platform of, peace, prosperity and progress in the Asia region and added that India has an age-old relationship with this region. “We have looked at the region not just as an ‘extended neighbourhood’ but as an ’extended family’.”
He also mentioned Afghanistan and said the situation in the Taliban-ruled nation has a direct impact on the security of all SCO nations.
“India’s concerns and expectations regarding Afghanistan are the same as most of the SCO members,” he said, and called for united efforts for the welfare of the Afghan people.
“It is important that Afghan territory is not used to spread unrest in neighbouring nations or promote extremist ideologies, ” the PM outlined.
Chinese President Xi Jinping and Russian President Vladimir Putin are among the SCO leaders who attended the summit.
The theme of India’s chairship of the SCO is – SECURE, derived from the acronym given by PM Modi at the 2018 Qingadao SCO Summit. It stands for: S : Security, E: Economic development, C: Connectivity, U: Unity, R: Respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity, E: Environmental protection.