The Shanghai Cooperation Organisation on Wednesday asked India and Pakistan to resolve their differences over the Pulwama terror attack bilaterally and that their membership in the bloc would be dependent on that, PTI reported. Newly appointed SCO Secretary-General Vladimir Norov said their participation to the organisation would become impossible without a commitment for an unconditional fight against terrorism and separatism.
China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan are the organisation’s founding members. The SCO included India and Pakistan in 2017 upgrading them from their 12-year-long observer status.
Norov told reporters in Beijing that the February 14 attack in Jammu and Kashmir that killed 40 Central Reserve Police Force personnel was a “direct provocation” by the opponents of peace. Pakistan-based organisation Jaish-e-Mohammad had claimed responsibility for the attack.
The secretary-general said the two countries had committed to implementing the provisions of the organisation including not bringing “bilateral disagreements to the SCO family” and resolving them through mutual reasonable compromises.
“The most important condition for participation in a multi-disciplinary cooperation within the SCO is the commitment to unconditional and consistent struggle against terrorism, separatism and extremism. Otherwise, it would be impossible for the two states to participate in the SCO,” Norov said.
India’s ties with China and Pakistan have been strained since February. Groups of traders on Tuesday burned goods made in China to protest against Beijing’s decision to block the United Nations Security Council’s proposal to designate Jaish-e-Mohammed chief Masood Azhar a “global terrorist”, PTI reported, quoting a statement from the Confederation of All Indian Traders.
China is a permanent member of the Security Council. It had previously prevented the Security Council’s Islamic State and Al Qaeda sanctions committee from sanctioning Azhar in 2016 and 2017. On February 15, a day after the Pulwama attack, China had refused to back India’s appeal at the UN to designate Azhar a global terrorist.