Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday said that countries that support terrorism must be held accountable as he appealed to global leaders to tackle the problem, PTI reported. Addressing the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation Summit in Kyrgyzstan’s Capital Bishkek, Modi highlighted the spirit and ideals of the international body to strengthen cooperation to combat terrorism.

“To tackle the danger of terrorism, all humanitarian powers should come forward together,” ANI quoted Modi as saying. “Countries that provide encouragement, support and finances to terrorism must be held accountable.”

The prime minister also said that the India stood for a terrorism-free society and urged the member states to help each other under the SCO Regional Anti-Terrorist Structure in the fight to end terrorism.

Modi, who arrived in Bishkek on Thursday for the two-day summit, said that radicalisation among the youth should be curbed. “Literature & culture provide our societies a positive activity, stop the spread of radicalization among the youths,” he said. “During my visit to Sri Lanka, I visited the St Anthony’s shrine, where I witnessed the ugly face of terrorism that takes the lives of innocents.”

The Prime Minister said that India has been a permanent member of the international body for two years now. “We have given a positive contribution in all activities of SCO,” he said. “We have continued engagements to enhance SCO’s role and credibility on the international stage.”

Modi pitches for increase in India-Kyrgyzstan trade links

The prime minister later attended the India-Kyrgyz Business Forum summit along with Kyrgyz President Sooronbay Jeenbekov. “This business forum summit is a matter of great happiness,” Modi said. “India and Kyrgyzstan have enjoyed close cultural and economic links since ancient times. There is a great opportunity to increase this historic alliance.”

“Growth in economical status and advancement in technology in India are prominent reasons for development across globe,” the prime minister added. “The youth and innovators of India will play significant role in attainment of our goal of a Rs 5 trillion dollars.”

The prime minister said there are three catalysts for trade – a conducive environment, connectivity and business to business transactions. “We have signed the double taxation avoidance agreement to promote a conducive environment for trade [with Kyrgyzstan],” he said. “We are also discussing a bilateral investment treaty. We have created a five-year road map to increase bilateral investment.”

He said more attention has to be given to increase connectivity between India and Central Asia.

On the sidelines of the summit, during his bilateral meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping on Thursday, Modi had raised the problem of cross-border terrorism originating from Pakistan. “Pakistan needs to create an atmosphere free of terror, but at this stage we do not see it happening,” Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale had quoted the prime minister as saying. “We expect Islamabad to take concrete action.”

Modi also met Belarussian President Aleksandr Lukashenko on the margins of the summit. “The two countries share the common goals of development and cooperation in the region,” External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said in a tweet on Friday.

The international body is a group of eight countries led by China. India and Pakistan became members of the group in 2017.