PM Modi said some countries use cross-border terrorism as an instrument of their policies

In the presence of Pakistan Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, Chinese President Xi Jinping, Russian President Vladimir Putin and other heads of government and state, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday made a veiled attack on Islamabad, stating that some countries are using cross-border terrorism as an instrument of their policies and provide shelter to terrorists.

“Some countries use cross-border terrorism as an instrument of their policies, provide shelter to terrorists. SCO should not hesitate to criticize such nations. There should be no place for double standards on such serious matters,” Prime Minister Modi said in his remarks at the SCO summit which was held virtually.

Under the rotating Chairmanship of India, the SCO summit also saw leaders of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, and Iran attending it.

Prime Minister Modi said terrorism has become a major threat to regional and global peace and “dealing with this challenge requires decisive action. Regardless of its form or manifestation, we must unite in our fight against terrorism.”

The Prime Minister called upon SCO members “to enhance mutual cooperation in dealing with terror financing as well.”

“The RATS (Regional Anti-Terrorist Structure) mechanism of the SCO has played a significant role in this regard. We should also take proactive steps to prevent the spread of radicalization among our youth,” Prime Minister Modi maintained.

He said India's concerns and expectations regarding Afghanistan are similar to those of most of the SCO countries.

“We must come together to strive for the well-being of the people of Afghanistan. Humanitarian assistance to Afghan citizens; the formation of an inclusive government; the fight against terrorism and drug trafficking; and ensuring the rights of women, children, and minorities are our shared priorities,” the Prime Minister said.

He said India and Afghanistan have shared centuries-old friendly relations.

“In the past two decades, we have contributed to the economic and social development of Afghanistan. Even after the events of 2021, we continued to provide humanitarian assistance,” Prime Minister Modi said.

However, he emphasized that Afghanistan’s territory is not used to spread instability in neighbouring countries or to encourage extremist ideologies.

The Prime Minister said the food, fuel and fertiliser crisis are a big challenge for all countries in the world surrounded by controversies, tensions and epidemics. He added that over the past two decades, the SCO has emerged as an important platform for peace, prosperity, and development in the entire Eurasia region.

Prime Minister Modi said India has made sustained efforts to take SCO's multifaceted cooperation to new heights as the chair of SCO.

He said India has made five new pillars for cooperation in the SCO and they are Startups and Innovation, Traditional Medicine, Youth Empowerment, Digital Inclusion and Shared Buddhist Heritage.

The Prime Minister said several new platforms including Young Scientist Conclave, Authors Conclave, Startup Forum, and Youth Council have been organized to harness the talent of the youth from SCO countries.

These platforms aim to channel the potential of SCO's youth and provide them with meaningful opportunities. Prime Minister Modi said India supports proposals for reform and modernisation of SCO.

He expressed his happiness over joining of Iran in the SCO as a new member.

“I extend my congratulations to President Raisi and the people of Iran on this occasion,” Prime Minister Modi said.

He welcomed the signing of the Memorandum of Obligation for the SCO membership of Belarus.

“The interest of other countries in joining SCO today is a testament to the importance of this organization. In this process, it is essential for SCO to maintain its primary focus on the interests and aspirations of the Central Asian countries,” Prime Minister Modi said.

India assumed the rotating Chairmanship of SCO at the Samarkand Summit in September 2022.

India's association with the SCO began in 2005 as an observer country. It became a full member state of SCO at the Astana summit in 2017.