PM Modi tears into ‘countries supporting terrorism’ in presence of Sharif, XI


In a strong message to Pakistan and China, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday hit out at “countries supporting terrorism” while virtually addressing the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) Summit. With Pakistan Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif and Chinese President Xi Jinping in attendance, PM Modi said that some countries use cross-border terrorism as an instrument of their policy and the SCO wmust not hesitate to criticise them. PM Modi also referred to respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity, as “pillars of our vision for SCO”. The message here was for China in the context of its aggressive behaviour in the Indo-Pacific and at the Line of Actual Control (LAC) and beyond, diplomatic sources explained, adding, “The signal was also for Russia in the backdrop of the on-going military operations against Ukraine.”
“Some countries use cross-border terrorism as an instrument in sync with their policy. SCO must not hesitate to criticise such countries,” PM Modi emphatically said. This way, PM Modi sent out a clear-cut blunt message to both Pakistan and China, without naming them. Analysing the speech and other addresses at the SCO summit, diplomats here told The Daily Guardian that by urging the SCO not to hesitate to criticise the countries promoting terrorism, PM Modi sought to mount pressure on Xi Jinping to be critical of cross-border terrorism being promoted by China’s all-weather friend Pakistan. According to sources at the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA), PM Modi’s remarks assume significance in the backdrop of several incidents exposing China’s double-standard on the issue of combating terrorism. Only a fortnight ago, China stymied a joint proposal by India and the US for listing Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) operative Sajid Mir under the 1267 al-Qaeda Sanctions Committee at the United Nations Security Council. Mir is wanted in India and the US in connection with the 2008 Mumbai attacks. China’s blocking of the move to designate Mir at the UNSC was termed by India as an action that reflects double standards and a “self-defeating justification” of terrorism. In the context of these developments, PM Modi’s message was, therefore, for both Pakistan and China. Diplomats here say that Beijing must criticise cross border terrorism if it is really serious about joining the international war against terror. Pakistan PM Sharif, China’s President Xi Jinping and Russian President Vladimir Putin were among those who were present at the summit hosted virtually by India.
Continuing his attack against the countries which support terrorism, PM Modi said, “It has become a threat to regional as well as global peace. There is a need for decisive action to deal with terrorism.” “We have to fight together against terrorism that may be in any form and any manifestation,” PM Modi said. “We do not see the SCO as an extended neighbourhood, but rather as an extended family. Security, economic development, connectivity, unity, respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity, and environmental protection are the pillars of our vision for SCO,” Modi said.
PM Modi said that the Afghanistan situation has had a direct impact on us. “The situation in Afghanistan has had a direct impact on the security of all of us (countries). India’s concerns and expectations regarding Afghanistan are the same as most of the SCO Member countries. We have to make united efforts for the welfare of the people of Afghanistan…It is important that the land of Afghanistan is not used to spread unrest in neighbouring nations or promote extremist ideologies,” Modi said at the summit.
Chairing the meeting, PM Modi said that in the past 20 years the SCO has emerged as an important platform for peace, prosperity and development in Eurasia. He said that India has made efforts to take its multifaceted cooperation with SCO to new heights. “We do not only see SCO as an extended neighbourhood, but rather as an extended family,” he said.
Modi also expressed happiness on Iran joining the grouping. Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi, Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko, and Kazakhstan President Kassym-Jomrat Tokayev also participated in the SCO meeting.
Xi Jinping in his address urged world leaders to work towards safeguarding regional peace. The Chinese president called for efforts to safeguard regional peace and ensure common security. Xi urged SCO member states to follow the right direction and enhance their solidarity and mutual trust.
Russian President Vladimir Putin said that Moscow will stand up against Western sanctions and provocations. He said that Russia planned to boost ties with the group and supported the transition to settlements in local currencies in foreign trade. He also warned that the potential for conflicts and the risk of a global economic crisis were on the rise.
Pakistan PM Shehbaz Sharif without referring to Kashmir, mentioned about the UNSC framework to resolve disputes. He also backed the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).
Putin thanked PM Modi for organising the SCO summit and lauded work India has done under its Presidency. Russia supports the New Delhi declaration which gives a consolidated approach on international issues, he said.
Formed in 2001 by China and Russia, with former Soviet central Asian states as members and joined later by India and Pakistan, the eight-member SCO is a political and security group that seeks to counter Western influence in Eurasia.