Minister of External Affairs Sushma Swaraj on Friday said terrorism is the most “overwhelming threat” to development and prosperity, and urged members of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation to cooperate with each other.
“As the footprint of terrorism expands, governments must assume their national responsibility and cooperate with each other,” Swaraj said. She was speaking at a council meeting of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation, which includes India, Kazakhstan, China, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, Russia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. She is currently in Tajikistan’s capital Dushanbe.
All connectivity schemes should be based on the principles of respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity, consultations, good governance, transparency, viability and sustainability, Swaraj added. The statement was in an apparent reference to the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, according to PTI. India has opposed the project as a part of the corridor would pass through the disputed territory in Kashmir.
“We have all benefited from globalisation. We must further develop our trade and investment cooperation,” said Swaraj. “We support an open, stable international trade regime based on centrality of the World Trade Organization.”
This is the second meeting of the heads of council since India became a full member of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation last year.
Earlier this year, Swaraj said that countering terrorism should include identifying states that finance terror groups, in an apparent reference to Pakistan. She was speaking at the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation Foreign Ministers’ meeting.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi in June spoke at a plenary session of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation summit and pointed out the importance of physical and digital connectivity across the region.