NEW DELHI: India on Monday, in an apparent reference to Pakistan, raised the issue of cross-border terrorism at the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) heads of government meeting.
“We remain concerned about threats emerging from ungoverned spaces and are particularly concerned about States that leverage terrorism as an instrument of state policy. Such an approach is entirely against the spirit and ideals and the Charter of the SCO,” Vice-President M Venkaiah Naidu said in his opening remarks.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Pakistan counterpart Imran Khan did not attend the meeting. Islamabad was represented by the Parliamentary Secretary for Foreign Affairs.
Saying that terrorism is the most important challenge faced by the people of the region, Naidu said that it is a scourge that ‘we need to collectively combat’.
Further lashing out at Pakistan without naming it, Naidu said, “It is unfortunate to note that there have been attempts to deliberately bring bilateral issues into SCO and blatantly violate the well-established principles and norms of SCO Charter safeguarding the sovereignty and territorial integrity of SCO Member States."
According to Secretary (West) Vikas Swarup, India considers SCO as an important platform. “We have focused on three pillars of cooperation — science and technology, start ups and innovations, and traditional medicine,” he said.
India proposed the setting up of a Special Working Group. “The expert group will help enhance cooperation in terms of healthcare in the Eurasian region,” Swarup said.
Asked if Pakistan would be a part of the initiatives, “However, SCO charter does not allow one member state to cause hurdles or stop any plans that have been discussed,” he said.