India condemns terrorism in all its manifestations: Naidu
India launched a thinly veiled attack on Pakistan on Monday for using terrorism as an instrument of state policy during a meeting of the council of heads of government of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), calling for collective efforts to combat the threat.
Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu, who chaired the virtual meeting, indirectly criticized Pakistan for trying to use the SCO to raise bilateral issues and said this went against the group’s charter, which safeguards the sovereignty and territorial integrity of member states. .
In his opening remarks, Naidu noted the importance of efforts to drive economic recovery amid the Covid-19 pandemic and tacitly attacked the China Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), saying that trust itself It alone determines the sustainability of world trade and countries must demonstrate their compliance with the rules of multilateral trade.
The council is the second highest body in the SCO and is responsible for managing the economic agenda and approving its annual budget. This was the first time that India hosted a meeting of the body since it was admitted to the group in 2017.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Pakistani counterpart Imran Khan did not join the virtual meeting. Pakistan’s turnout was at the lowest level – it was represented by Parliamentary Foreign Secretary Andleeb Abbas – and Russia, China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan were represented by their prime ministers.
Naidu said that trade can only flourish in an environment of peace and security, and that the most important challenge facing countries in the region is cross-border terrorism. He described terrorism as “the enemy of humanity” that must be fought collectively.
“India condemns terrorism in all its manifestations. We remain concerned about the threats emerging from ungoverned spaces and we are particularly concerned about states that harness terrorism as an instrument of state policy, ”he said, without naming Pakistan.
Naidu said the SCO is key to cooperation based on universally recognized standards, rule of law, openness, and it is “unfortunate … that there have been attempts to deliberately bring bilateral issues to the SCO and blatantly violate well-established principles .. . “safeguard the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the SCO member states.”
Foreign Ministry Secretary (West) Vikas Swarup said at a press conference after the meeting that it is up to Pakistan to join India’s proposed initiatives, but the SCO letter includes a provision that a country cannot stop cooperation and also allows other members to boost cooperation “to the exclusion of the opposing country”. “If SCO member countries have the will, I am sure we can all find common ground and that is why the SCO charter specifically prohibits bilateral issues from being raised in SCO forums,” he added.
Former Ambassador Vishnu Prakash said: “When India joined as an observer in 2005, there was optimism about the ties between India and China. Today, we are decoupling with China. Pakistan and China have an unholy alliance that will thwart Indian initiatives, ”he said.