Addressing 21st meeting of the Council of Heads of State of SCO, he says fight against radicalisation is necessary to increase trust among the organisation SCO member-countries
The challenge of radicalisation has been highlighted by the developments in Afghanistan, said Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday.
Addressing the 21st meeting of the Council of Heads of State of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO), he stated that the fight against radicalisation was necessary for increasing trust among the SCO member-countries.
“The biggest challenges in this region are related to peace, security and trust deficit and the main reason behind these challenges lies in increasing radicalisation. The recent developments in Afghanistan have highlighted the challenge. The SCO should take the initiative to counter this problem,” noted Mr. Modi addressing the meeting in the virtual format.
The meeting, being hosted by Tajikistan, also saw the inclusion of Iran as a new member of the SCO. Mr. Modi welcomed the move and also praised the step to include Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Qatar as new dialogue partners of the regional organisation.
The Prime Minister stressed upon the importance of moderate Islam in Central Asia and urged the member- countries to counter religious extremism and radicalisation. “Historically, this region has been a fortress of progressive and moderate cultural traditions. Sufi order prospered here for centuries. This tradition grew here and was spread across the world. Based on this historic heritage of Central Asia, the SCO should develop a common template to fight radicalisation and extremism,” he asserted. Radicalisation and extremism has been a barrier to development in the region and urged the member-countries to promote “rational thinking”.
Mr. Modi praised the counter-terror work that had been carried out by the RATS mechanism of the SCO. He remarked that India expected to receive cooperation from the SCO members on the suggestions that it had made at the Regional Anti-Terrorism Structure (RATS), which is headquartered in Tashkent.
Mr. Modi thanked Tajikistan President Imomali Rahmon for hosting the summit in the challenging circumstances and greeted “all Tajik people”.
India’s investment in the Iranian port of Chabahar and the International North-South Corridor was indicative of its commitment to increasing connectivity with the Central Asian region. “We believe the landlocked Central Asian countries can benefit immensely by connecting with the huge market of India,” he added.
Jaishankar in Dushanbe
The SCO meeting is being attended by External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar. In Dushanbe, he is expected to hold important discussions on Afghanistan with the representatives of the member-countries.
The situation in Afghanistan is far from stabilising after a month of takeover by the Taliban, which spent most of the post-takeover days fighting off a challenge from the Tajik fighters in the Panjshir Valley.