By Shweta Aggarwal
In an oblique critique of China and Pakistan at the SCO summit, Prime Minister Narendra Modi raised concerns over attempts to bring in bilateral issues into the SCO agenda and underlined the need for respecting each other’s sovereignty and integrity.
In the first virtual SCO summit hosted by Russia, PM Modi came face-to-face with China’s President Xi Jinping and Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan for the first time since the escalation of the India-China border conflict.
“There is an effort to bring in bilateral issues into the SCO agenda… That is against the spirit of the charter of the SCO. India has always been resolute in working in sync with principles laid out in the SCO charter,” PM Modi said at the SCO summit on November 10.
“India believes that to enhance connectivity it is important that we move forward while respecting one another’s sovereignty and territorial integrity,” said PM Modi. This is widely seen as a veiled critique of China’s alleged intrusion into the Indian territory in Ladakh.
These comments also referred to India’s oft-reiterated objections over the so-called China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), which connects Kashgar in western China with Gwadar port in Pakistan and passes through Pakistan-occupied Kashmir.
PM Modi also made a strong pitch for enhancing SCO cooperation for promoting reformed multilateralism. “A reformed multilateralism that will reflect today’s global realities and discuss topics such as expectations of all stakeholders, contemporary challenges and human welfare. We expect full support from SCO member nations in this endeavory,” he said.
Mr Modi also pitched for enhancing counter-terror cooperation among SCO members.
“India firmly believes in peace, security and prosperity. And we have always voiced opposition to terrorism, illegal arms smuggling, drugs and money laundering. India has remained firm in its commitment to work in compliance with SCO principles laid down in the SCO Charter.”
In this difficult time of unprecedented epidemic, India’s pharma industry sent essential medicines to over 150 nations,” PM Modi said at the summit that deals with all the main areas of the activity of the SCO, including political, security, trade, economic and cultural issues.
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