Increasing extremism and radicalisation are the biggest threat to global peace, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said today at the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation summit, and drew attention to the Taliban’s takeover in Afghanistan.
The Prime Minister highlighted India’s concerns over regional stability and asked the SCO member states, which includes China and Pakistan, to ensure the grouping works closely together on issues like connectivity and trust.
“Today, we can see what is happening in Afghanistan. As SCO members it is a must for us all to ensure that there is no radicalisation and extremism on the rise there. There was a time when Afghanistan was a land of peace and prosperity. We must ensure that the country can connect with its ancient roots of peace, tolerance and harmony,” PM Modi said at the SCO summit held online amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Welcoming Iran to the SCO, PM Modi said India is helping increase connectivity in Afghanistan via Iran’s Chabahar Port, and such projects should be done by “respecting each nation’s sovereignty” – a hint at the so-called China-Pakistan Economic Corridor or CPEC which India doesn’t recognise as it passes through Pakistan-occupied Kashmir.
“We believe that landlocked Central Asian countries can benefit immensely by connecting with India’s vast market… All (SCO) member states must ensure that connectivity projects must not be affected by the situation on ground. Of course, all this must be done respecting each nation’s sovereignty,” PM Modi said.