At SCO summit, PM says radicalisation biggest challenge to peace

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Modi says the summit should develop a shared template to fight radicalism and extremism and work to develop a strong network among moderate, tolerant and inclusive institutions and traditions associated with Islam, reports Asian Lite News

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday spoke about increasing radicalisation, which he said has become the biggest challenge to peace, security and trust deficit in the region, in his address to the plenary session of the 21st meeting of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) in Dushanbe.

In his virtual address, Modi said recent developments in Afghanistan had made this challenge clearer.

He said the summit should develop a shared template to fight radicalism and extremism and work to develop a strong network among moderate, tolerant and inclusive institutions and traditions associated with Islam.

“Twentieth anniversary of the SCO is the right time to think about the future of SCO. The biggest challenges in this area are related to peace, security and trust deficit and root cause of these problems is increasing radicalisation. Recent developments in Afghanistan have made this challenge clear,” he said.

He further said no connectivity initiative cannot be a one-way project. “To ensure mutual trust, connectivity projects should be consultative, transparent and participatory. There should be respect for the territorial integrity of all countries,” Modi added.

“India is committed to increasing its connectivity with Central Asia. We believe that landlocked central Asian countries can benefit immensely by connecting with India’s vast market,” he added.

“This year we are celebrating the 20th anniversary of SCO. I welcome Iran as a new member country of the SCO. I also welcome the three new dialogue partners – Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Qatar,” he further said.

Modi welcomed the new members and dialogue partners to the summit and greeted the people of the host country, Tajikistan. “This year we are celebrating the 20th anniversary of SCO. I welcome Iran as a new member country of the SCO. I also welcome the three new dialogue partners – Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Qatar,” said PM Modi.

Speaking about the ongoing Afghanistan turmoil, its internal and external implications, and issues pertaining to regional security, PM Modi stressed on global effort in order to bring peace in the region.

“20th anniversary of SCO is right time to think about future of SCO. The biggest challenges in this area are related to-peace, security and trust deficit, and root cause of these problems is increasing radicalisation. Recent developments in Afghanistan have made this challenge clear. We should take a joint step to restore peace in the region.”

Moderate and tolerant Islamic values are already there. SCO should help propagate such ideas in the region, the Indian Prime Minister added.

Further in his address, Prime Minister Modi endorsed trade routes for land-locked Central Asia countries with India.

“SCO expansion shows the impact and influence of this growing organization. Connectivity is the biggest issue in Central Asia. India is committed to increasing its connectivity with Central Asia. We believe that landlocked Central Asian countries can benefit immensely by connecting with India’s vast market.”

It is to be noted that this is the first SCO meet being held in-person and virtual, and the fourth where India will take part as a full-fledged member. External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar earlier in the day met Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi and discussed the border row with him on the sidelines of the summit. While PM Modi joined the meeting via video link, Jaishankar is in Tajikistan’s capital Dushanbe.

The SCO and the Collective Security Treaty Organisation (CSTO) comprising Russia and Central Asian States will hold a joint summit meeting on Afghanistan.

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