In Bishkek, PM talks tough on terror

Bishkek: Prime Minister Narendra Modi Friday lashed out at countries “sponsoring, aiding and funding” terrorism and told top leaders at the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) Summit that such states must be held accountable, in a veiled reference to Pakistan whose premier Imran Khan was among the audience.

Addressing the SCO Summit here, Modi also called for a global conference to combat the scourge of terrorism.

Modi highlighted the spirit and ideals of the SCO to strengthen cooperation in the fight against terrorism. India advocates a terrorism-free society, he said.

“During my visit to Sri Lanka last Sunday, I visited the St Anthony’s church, where I witnessed the ugly face of terrorism which claims the lives of innocents anywhere,” the Prime Minister said, referring to one of the sites of the devastating Easter Sunday attacks that killed 258 people in Sri Lanka.

To combat the menace of terrorism, countries will have to come out of their narrow purview to unite against it, Modi said in the presence of Russian President Vladimir Putin, Chinese President Xi Jinping, Pakistan Prime Minister Khan and Iran President Hassan Rouhani among others. “Countries sponsoring, aiding and funding terrorism must be held accountable,” he said.

Prime Minister Modi also called on the SCO member states to cooperate under the SCO Regional Anti-Terrorist Structure (RATS) against terrorism. He also urged the SCO leaders to organise a global conference on terrorism. “Literature and culture provide our societies a positive activity, especially they stop the spread of radicalisation among the youths in our society,” Modi said.

A peaceful, united, safe and prosperous Afghanistan is vital for the stability and security in the SCO. “Our goal is to support the people and the government of Afghanistan for an Afghan-led, Afghan-owned and Afghan-controlled comprehensive peace process. We are happy that a further roadmap has been prepared at the SCO Afghanistan Contact Group,” he said.

It has been two years since India became a full member of the SCO. India has contributed positively in all the activities of the SCO, the Prime Minister said.