SCO should come together to deal with terrorism: Rajnath

Tashkent:  In a strong statement against terrorism with Pakistan present at the same table, India on Saturday asked the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation member countries to strengthen the existing international laws to combat terrorism “without exceptions or double standards”.

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, addressing the SCO summit in Tashkent, said: “Terrorism continues to disrupt societies and undermine developmental endeavours. The only way to fight this scourge is to strengthen and implement, without exceptions or double standards, all existing international laws and mechanisms to combat terrorists and their enablers.”

Addressing the 18th meeting of Council of Heads of Government (CHG) as the Special Envoy of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the Defence Minister highlighted the significance of the eight-member organisation in effectively addressing the challenges facing the region.

“Terrorism continues to disrupt our societies and undermine our developmental endeavors. It is important for SCO countries to come together to deal with this menace,” he said.

He congratulated Russia for successfully holding the SCO joint military exercise ‘CENTER 2019’ in Orenburg aimed at evolving drills of the participating armies in the fight against international terrorism.

He said the process of globalisation has opened up immense opportunities for the growth of SCO members, and also brought to the fore multidimensional, complex and transnational threats affecting developing countries. He urged the SCO to work together in defeating challenges like terrorism, climate change, endemic poverty, under development, pandemics and inequality, a statement said.

He also voiced the Government’s resolve of providing an enabling economic ecosystem for partner countries to invest and do business in India.

Highlighting the ‘Make in India’ programme, Singh invited SCO countries to enter into collaborative joint ventures in India, saying that significant work has already been undertaken towards improving ‘Ease of Doing Business’ in the country.

“We strongly support the initiative to facilitate cooperation among small and medium-sized enterprises within the SCO. Food industry is another potential area of collaboration. SCO members can work together for technology and investment support to food processing and put in a supporting logistics chain,” he said.

Emphasising that “unilateralism and protectionism has done good to none”, the Defence Minister reiterated the government’s commitment to a transparent, rules-based, open, inclusive and non-discriminatory multilateral trading system with the World Trade Organisation at its centre.

“We need approaches, which are inclusive, transparent and firmly anchored in multilateralism. Successful multilateralism also needs adherence to core principles of respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity, non-interference and mutual cooperation,” he added.

Singh also invited SCO member-states to join the ‘Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure’.

He said, India is honoured to host the next meeting of Council of Heads of Government in 2020. In the run-up to the meeting, he said, India is planning to organise a series of events aimed at enhancing trade, economic, cultural and humanitarian cooperation among SCO Members.

Prime Minister of Uzbekistan Abdulla Nigmatovich Aripov, Prime Ministers and Heads of Delegation of SCO Member States, Secretary-General of SCO Vladimir Norov and Executive Director of Regional Anti-Terrorist Structure (RATS) Jumakhon Giyosov also participated in the meeting.

The SCO comprises eight member-states, India, Kazakhstan, China, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, Russia, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan.

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