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Sushma Swaraj fires salvo at Pakistan, urges UNSC to take actions against state-sponsored terrorism

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, during her address at the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation(SCO) Council of Foreign Ministers meeting, in a shrouded attack on Pakistan said that terrorism is an enemy of the basic human rights and the fight against it should also identify States that “encourage, support and finance” the menace and “provide sanctuary” to terror groups.

Sushma Swaraj, during the meeting also attended by Pakistan Foreign Minister Khawaja Muhammad Asif, raised the issue of global terrorism and protectionism.

The External Affairs Minister went on to say that amongst the various challenges the world is facing today, foremost being the threat of global terrorism and the imminent need to build a strong security architecture to combat it.

“Terrorism is an enemy of the basic human rights: of life, peace and prosperity,” Swaraj said.

The criminal terrorist militias are not impeded by borders as they seek to destroy the architecture of international stability and build walls of fear in societies that believe in pluralism, she said.

“We strongly believe that our fight against terrorism should not only seek to eliminate terrorists but should also identify and take strong measures against States that encourage, support and finance terrorism and provide sanctuary to terrorists and terror groups,” Swaraj said without mentioning any country.

“We have to work together to wipe-out this scourge from the face of the earth. In order to realise this objective, we must unite across our differences, strengthen our resolve and script an effective strategy against terror. We welcome the clarity shown by the SCO on terrorism from its inception.

“We should also urgently resolve to establish Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism that India proposed more than two decades ago in the United Nations. We are determined to consistently strengthen cooperation within the SCO framework for comprehensive, cooperative and sustainable security,” the minister said.

Terrorism being the pivotal topic of discussion, she also raised the issue of reforms at the UN Security Council, UN Framework Convention on Climate Change and its Paris Agreement of 2015, following the establishment of “International Solar Alliance” in December 2017. Sushma Swaraj also spoke about the International North-South Transport Corridor, the Chabahar Port Development, the Ashgabat Agreement, India-Myanmar-Thailand Highway Project and Bangladesh-Butan-India-Nepal Initiative.

She went on to strongly support the active efforts of the Afghan Government to implement Afghan-led, Afghan-owned and Afghan-controlled inclusive peace and reconciliation process. “India actively supports the activation of the SCO-Afghanistan Contact Group, the Moscow Consultation Format and other mechanisms of dialogue and cooperation for the restoration of peace and development in Afghanistan,” the minister added.

The meeting was also attended by foreign ministers Wang Yi of China, Kairat Abdrakhmanov of Kazakhstan, Abdyldaev Erlan Bekeshovich of Kyrgyzstan, Sergey Lavrov of Russia, Sirodjidin Muhridinovich Aslov of Tajikistan, Abdulaziz Khafizovich Kamilov of Uzbekistan, and Secretary General of the SCO Rashid Alimov among others.

The SCO is a Eurasian intergovernmental organisation, the creation of which was announced in 2001 in Shanghai by Kazakhstan, China, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. It was preceded by the Shanghai Five mechanism.

India, along with Pakistan, were granted full member status at the SCO summit in Astana, Kazakhstan, in June 2017.

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