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India Calls for Global Isolation of Terror-Sponsoring Nations at SCO Summit The SCO includes nine member states—India, Iran, Kazakhstan, China, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, Russia, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan. Belarus recently joined as the 10th member.

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ASTANA: At the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) Heads of State Summit in Astana, Kazakhstan, India’s External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar made a compelling appeal for the global community to isolate countries that offer safe havens to terrorists. Emphasizing the urgent need for collective action, Jaishankar stated, “The global community must isolate and expose those countries that harbour terrorists, provide safe havens, and condone terrorism.”

In a pointed yet indirect critique of Pakistan, Jaishankar highlighted the imperative of a decisive response to cross-border terrorism. “Cross-border terrorism requires a decisive response, and terrorism financing and recruitment must be resolutely countered,” he asserted.

Representing Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Jaishankar reiterated the SCO’s foundational objective of combating terrorism. He stressed that many member states have experienced terrorism originating beyond their borders. “If left unchecked, terrorism can become a significant threat to regional and global peace. Terrorism in any form or manifestation cannot be justified or condoned,” he declared. The summit was attended by key global leaders, including Chinese President Xi Jinping, Pakistan Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, and Russian President Vladimir Putin.

On the sidelines of the summit, Jaishankar met with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi to discuss bilateral border issues. They agreed to intensify efforts to resolve ongoing disputes along their shared Himalayan border, as detailed in a statement from New Delhi.

Jaishankar also extended congratulations to Kazakhstan for its successful hosting of the summit and expressed India’s best wishes to China for its forthcoming SCO presidency. He conveyed his “deepest condolences” following the tragic death of Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi and others in a helicopter crash.

The SCO has grown into a significant economic and security bloc, now including nine member states: India, Iran, Kazakhstan, China, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, Russia, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan. Belarus recently joined as the 10th member, with Kazakhstan serving as the current chair.

India and China, which share a long, often contentious Himalayan border, have faced strained relations since a military standoff in July 2020 that resulted in the deaths of 20 Indian soldiers and four Chinese troops.

During the SCO summit, Jaishankar and Wang Yi agreed that prolonging the current border situation is detrimental to both countries’ interests. They concurred on the need for increased diplomatic and military meetings to swiftly resolve the remaining issues, according to an Indian foreign ministry statement.

China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi underscored the importance of managing differences and ensuring that Sino-Indian relations advance on a stable track. “We must maintain a positive mindset, properly handle and control the situation in the border areas on the one hand, and actively resume normal exchanges on the other hand,” Wang stated.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who began his third consecutive term last month, reiterated in April the necessity of addressing the prolonged border situation urgently.

Since the 2020 standoff, both India and China have fortified positions and deployed additional troops and equipment along their border. The nuclear-armed neighbors have experienced uneasy relations since their bloody border war in 1962.

Jaishankar reaffirmed the importance of fully adhering to bilateral agreements, protocols, and understandings previously reached between the two governments. The two nations have committed to maintaining dialogue through military and diplomatic channels to manage and resolve their differences.

-Dr. Shahid Siddiqui; Follow via X @shahidsiddiqui

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