Wed, 24 Jul 2019

Bishkek [Kyrgyzstan], Jun 14 (ANI): In a boost to India's efforts at highlighting Pakistan's support to terror activities in India, the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) summit on Friday condemned terrorism in all its forms and said threats like cross-border terror require special attention for which constructive cooperation of the entire international community was needed.

The Joint Declaration adopted at the end of the eight-member grouping also noted that security threats which are cross-border in nature, like terrorism, require special attention, close coordination and constructive cooperation of the entire international community.

"The declaration is a strong statement against terrorism and is endorsed by all SCO member-states," said Joint Secretary (SCO) in the External Affairs Ministry Madhumita Hazarika Bhagat, said in her briefing to the media.

Earlier, in his address to the plenary session of the SCO Summit, Prime Minister Narendra Modi made a veiled attack on Pakistan saying countries supporting and financing terrorism must be held accountable, while the world should come together to combat the menace.

Relations between India and Pakistan have hit a sour patch after the Pulwama terror attack in February in which over 40 CRPF personnel were killed. This was followed by aerial strikes by India in Balakote in Pakistan on terror groups based there.

India has time and again reiterated that Pakistan needs to create a terror-free atmosphere for talks to be held, with Prime Minister Modi telling Chinese President Xi Jinping the same during their bilateral here on Thursday.

"The member-states emphasise their intention to extend and deepen cooperation in addressing threats to stability and security in the SCO space," the Joint Declaration said.

The SCO member-states also called on the international community to promote cooperation in combating terrorism based on UN resolutions.

"The member-states are actively and persistently countering international terrorism, separatism and extremism, transnational organised crime, illegal trade in narcotic drugs, psychotropic substances and their precursors, as well as weapons, munitions and explosives, threats to biological and information security and illegal migration. They advocate further improvement of the legal and regulatory framework for cooperation in these areas," the declaration stated.

The SCO nations further stressed that acts of terrorism and extremism cannot be justified.

"The Member-States believe it important to take comprehensive measures to intensify efforts against terrorism and its ideology, as well as to determine and eliminate the factors and conditions that promote terrorism and extremism. They note that interfering in other countries' domestic affairs under the pretext of fighting terrorism and extremism as well as using terrorist, extremist and radical groups to achieve one's own mercenary ends is unacceptable," the statement noted.

They also highlighted the need for stepping up the international community's joint efforts to counter the attempts to involve young people in the activities of terrorist, separatist and extremist groups.

Towards this, the member-states will continue to fulfil the provisions of the Joint Address of the SCO Heads of State to the Youth and the Action Plan on its implementation (Qingdao, 10 June 2018), focusing on preventing the spread of religious intolerance, xenophobia and racial discrimination.

The importance of keeping outer space free from all types of weapons was also outlined in the declaration. Emphasis was also laid on strict compliance with the current legal system, which allows for the peaceful use of outer space.

They also reaffirmed the need to launch multilateral talks to combat acts of chemical and biological terrorismThe Member States further noted the SCO Convention on Countering Extremism coming into effect.

They also pledged to continue regular Peace Mission military command-post antiterrorist exercises and similar events held by relevant agencies.

The SCO further vowed to counter the use of information and communications technology to undermine political, economic and public security in the SCO countries, and curb propaganda of terrorism, separatism and extremism online.

"Member States note the effective activities of the SCO Regional Anti-Terrorist Structure (RATS) to contribute to cooperation between competent agencies in fighting terrorism, separatism and extremism," the statement said.

They welcomed the signing of a Memorandum of Cooperation between the Executive Directorate of the UN Security Council Counter-Terrorism Committee and the SCO Regional Antiterrorist Structure (Bratislava, 25 March 2019) in order to expand international relations of the SCO RATS.

Addressing the plenary session of the SCO Summit here on Friday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi made a veiled attack on Pakistan. He stated that countries supporting and financing terrorism must be held accountable, while the world should come together to combat the menace.

Relations between India and Pakistan have hit a sour patch after the Pulwama terror attack, in which India lost over 40 CRPF personnel. Pakistan-based terror group, Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) claimed responsibility for the attack, following which India successfully led diplomatic efforts in getting its Pakistan-based chief, Masood Azhar, listed as a global terrorist by the UN Security Council recently.

India has time and again reiterated that Pakistan needs to create a terror-free atmosphere for talks to be held, with Prime Minister Modi telling Chinese President Xi Jinping the same during their bilateral here on Thursday. (ANI)

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