PM Modi calls for SCO template to fight radicalisation, extremism

PM Modi calls for SCO template to fight radicalisation, extremism
Prime Minister Narendra Modi addresses the SCO Summit 2021 virtually in New Delhi on Friday. PTI

New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday called for developing a template by the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) to effectively deal with the challenges of extremism and radicalisation.

In a virtual address at the annual SCO summit, Modi said the "root cause" of the problems facing the region is increasing radicalisation and the developments in Afghanistan reflected the challenge.

"I believe that the biggest challenges in this area are related to peace, security and trust deficit. And the root cause of these problems is the increasing radicalisation. The recent developments in Afghanistan have made this challenge more clear," he said.

The prime minister said the SCO should develop a template to fight radicalisation and extremism.

Modi said the SCO should work to develop a strong network among moderate, tolerant and inclusive institutions and traditions associated with Islam.

He said the fight against radicalisation is not only needed for regional security and trust but also required to ensure a bright future for the youth of the region.

The prime minister also said that India is committed to increasing its connectivity with Central Asia.

At the same time, he also said that any connectivity initiative cannot be a "one-way street" and connectivity projects should be consultative, transparent and participatory.

He welcomed Iran as a new member country of the SCO.

Jaishankar holds informal discussions with Russia Iran

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 here.

Jaishankar met the two leaders in the Tajik capital here on the sidelines of a key summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) on the situation in Afghanistan after its takeover by the Taliban last month.

"Always good to meet Russian FM Sergey Lavrov. A useful discussion on contemporary issues, including Afghanistan, before the commencement of the SCO Summit," Jaishankar tweeted after the informal meeting.

The two leaders had last met in Moscow in July. The two leaders also represented their countries at the SCO foreign ministers' meeting here in July.

Jaishankar also exchanged courtesies and perspectives with Iranian President Raisi.

"An exchange of courtesies- and perspectives- with President Raisi of Iran before the start of the SCO Summit," Jaishankar tweeted.

Jaishnakar had met President Raisi twice in July and August. He had represented India at the swearing-in ceremony of Raisi.

The annual SCO summit is expected to deliberate extensively on the developments in Afghanistan as well as the overall regional security scenario. Jaishankar will attend a meeting on Afghanistan with the heads of state of the SCO and the Collective Security Treaty Organisation.

"Warmly received at the 21st Meeting of SCO Council of Heads of State by Tajik leadership. Honoured to represent PM @narendramodi in Dushanbe who addressed the plenary session of the Summit via video-link," Jaishankar tweeted.

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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