Union Minister of External Affairs Sushma Swaraj on Wednesday said India is more determined to fight terrorism especially after the Easter Sunday bombings in Sri Lanka which claimed 253 lives, PTI reported.
Swaraj was addressing the meeting of Shanghai Cooperation Organisation Council of Foreign Ministers at Bishkek, the capital of Kyrgyzstan. Swaraj said India will consistently strengthen cooperation within the framework of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation for sustainable security.
“Our heart goes out to our brothers and sisters of Sri Lanka, who have recently witnessed the ghastly act of terrorism,” Swaraj said. “Our wounds of Pulwama attack were still raw and the news from the neighborhood has made us more determined to resolutely fight against this menace.”
On April 21, nine suicide bombers carried out a series of blasts at three churches and several luxury hotels in Colombo. The Islamic State group claimed the attacks, but the Sri Lankan government blamed the National Thowheed Jamath.
Forty personnel of the Central Reserve Police Force were killed in a grenade attack at Pulwama, Jammu and Kashmir on February 14. The Jaish-e-Mohammad based in Pakistan claimed the attack. Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi was present at the meeting of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation.
Swaraj said India is open to exploring how to make the work of Regional Anti-Terrorism Structure, which deals with issues relating to security and defence, more effective. “In spite of a turbulent global scenario, SCO member states have been steadily expanding mutually beneficial cooperation in various spheres, including political, security and development,” Swaraj said.
Swaraj said India was committed to any process that will help Afghanistan emerge as a “united, peaceful, secure, stable, inclusive and economically vibrant nation, with guaranteed gender and human rights”.
The Shanghai Cooperation Organisation was founded at a summit in Shanghai in 2001 by the presidents of Russia, China, Kyrgyz Republic, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. India and Pakistan were granted membership in 2017.