Vice President Venkaiah Naidu, at a meeting of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation on Monday, said that terrorism was the “most important” challenge to the region and criticised Pakistan for supporting it.

Naidu said during his address at the SCO council of heads meeting that India condemned all forms of terrorism. “We remain concerned about threats emerging from ungoverned spaces and are particularly concerned about States that leverage terrorism as an instrument of state policy,” he said in an apparent reference to Pakistan.

He added: “Such an approach is entirely against the spirit and ideals and the Charter of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization.”

Naidu specifically spoke about the threat of cross-border terrorism. “Terrorism is truly the enemy of humanity,” he said. “It is a scourge we need to collectively combat.” The vice president added that peace is essential for progress.

India has repeatedly criticised Pakistan for allegedly sponsoring terrorism. On November 19, the security forces in Jammu and Kashmir had killed four militants belonging to the Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammed terror group in a gunfight.

The Ministry of External Affairs had confirmed on November 21 that the militants killed in Jammu and Kashmir’s Nagrota were planning to disrupt the District Development Council elections, which began in the Union Territory from November 28. This is the first district council elections to take place in Jammu and Kashmir since the abrogation of special status granted to the erstwhile state under Article 370.

The foreign ministry added that it had conveyed “serious concerns” to Pakistan about the terror group continuing its attacks against India. The ministry had summoned Pakistani High Commission officials in Delhi.

Pakistan has been facing increasing global pressure to curb terrorism. Last month, Global anti-terrorism watchdog Financial Action Task Force voted to keep Pakistan on its “grey list” for the Imran Khan-led government’s failure to fully comply with a 27-point action plan.

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