Updated: September 17, 2021 7:45:20 pm
Prime Minister Narendra Modi Friday said the recent developments in Afghanistan will have the greatest impact on neighbouring countries like India and added that there was a need for regional focus and cooperation on the situation in the country.
Addressing the virtual Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) summit, Modi warned that continued instability and fundamentalism in Afghanistan would encourage terrorist and extremist ideologies all over world.
“Other extremist groups can also be encouraged to gain power through violence,” he said, adding the change of power in Afghanistan is not inclusive and has happened without negotiation.
My remarks at the SCO-CSTO Outreach Summit on Afghanistan. https://t.co/i7ZL80eGNM
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) September 17, 2021
The prime minister also flagged his concerns over the serious humanitarian crisis unfolding in Afghanistan, noting that the economic woes of the Afghan people are increasing due to the blockage in financial and trade flows. He also pointed out that the developments in the country could lead to an uncontrolled flow of drugs, illegal weapons and human trafficking.
“A large amount of advanced weapons remain in Afghanistan. Due to these, there will be a risk of instability in the entire region,” Modi said.
Further, PM Modi called upon the world leaders to ensure that humanitarian aid reaches Afghanistan in an unhindered manner.
At the summit, the prime minister also called for developing a template by the SCO to effectively deal with the challenges of extremism and radicalisation.
Addressing the SCO Summit. https://t.co/FU9WtFBWeF
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) September 17, 2021
“The 20th anniversary of SCO is right time to think about future of SCO. The biggest challenges in this area are related to-peace, security and trust deficit. And root cause of these problems is the increasing radicalisation. Recent developments in Afghanistan have made challenge posed by radicalisation more clear. The SCO should develop a shared template to fight radicalism and extremism,” Modi said.
The prime minister began his speech by welcoming Iran as the new member country of SCO. “This year we are celebrating the 20th anniversary of SCO. I welcome Iran as a new member country of the SCO. I also welcome the three new dialogue partners – Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Qatar.”
He also said that India is committed to increasing its connectivity with Central Asia. Asserting that there should be respect for the territorial integrity of all countries, PM Modi said, “We believe that landlocked Central Asian countries can benefit immensely by connecting with India’s vast market. Any connectivity initiative cannot be one-way. To ensure mutual trust, connectivity projects should be consultative, transparent and participatory. There should be respect for the territorial integrity of all countries,” he added.
भारत central एशिया के साथ अपनी connectivity बढ़ाने के लिए प्रतिबद्ध है।
हमारा मानना है कि land locked central एशियाई देशों को भारत के विशाल बाज़ार से जुड़ कर अपार लाभ हो सकता है: PM @narendramodi
— PMO India (@PMOIndia) September 17, 2021
Taking about the ways to make India a stakeholder in an emerging technology, the prime minister said, “We must encourage our talented youngsters towards science and rational thinking. We can bring our startups and entrepreneurs together to make the innovative spirit towards making India a stakeholder in an emerging technology.”
Meanwhile, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on Friday held a “useful discussion” with his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov on contemporary issues, including Afghanistan and shared perspectives on global affairs with Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi, as he held separate informal meetings with the two leaders in Dushanbe.
Warmly received at the 21st Meeting of SCO Council of Heads of State by Tajik leadership.
— Dr. S. Jaishankar (@DrSJaishankar) September 17, 2021
Jaishankar met the two leaders in the Tajik capital on the sidelines of SCO summit on the situation in Afghanistan after its takeover by the Taliban last month.
On Thursday, ahead of the SCO summit, Jaishankar had conveyed to his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi that progress in the disengagement process in eastern Ladakh was essential for restoration of peace and tranquillity and that it is the basis for the development of overall ties.
The SCO, seen as a counterweight to NATO, is an eight-member economic and security bloc and has emerged as one of the largest transregional international organisations. India and Pakistan became its permanent members in 2017.
The SCO was founded at a summit in Shanghai in 2001 by the presidents of Russia, China, the Kyrgyz Republic, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. India was made an observer at the SCO in 2005 and has generally participated in the ministerial-level meetings of the grouping which focus mainly on security and economic cooperation in the Eurasian region.
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