India on Monday said the most important challenge facing the region is terrorism and the elimination of this threat will help the region realise its true potential, including in the economic sphere.
India is hosting the meet for the first time after it gained full membership of the influential grouping in 2017.
Addressing a virtual meet of the council of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) heads of government, Vice-President M Venkaiah Naidu mentioned cross-border terrorism and called for combating the menace under a collective approach. “We are particularly concerned about states that leverage terrorism as an instrument of state policy,” Naidu said, in a clear reference to Pakistan. “The most important challenge faced by us is terrorism, particularly cross-border terrorism.”
Naidu said the elimination of the threat of terrorism will help the region realise its true potential.
In another reference to Pakistan, the Vice-President said it is unfortunate that there were attempts to deliberately bring bilateral issues into the SCO, describing it as a blatant violation of principles and norms of the charter of the grouping.
In September, National Security Advisor Ajit Doval walked out of a virtual meeting of top SCO security officials after the Pakistani representative projected a map that inaccurately depicted Kashmir. India had slammed Pakistan for the “blatant disregard” to the norms of the meeting.