Modi urges SCO to combat terrorism, assist Afghanistan

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi emphasized the importance of collective action against terrorism, supporting Afghanistan, and addressing global challenges during Tuesday’s virtual summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO).

The SCO, a Eurasian political and security group, is seeking to expand its influence by welcoming Iran as a new member.

In his address, Modi urged China, India, Iran, Pakistan, Russia, and the Central Asian countries to join forces in the fight against terrorism and emphasized the need for decisive action.

He stated, “Terrorism is a major threat to territorial and global peace, and we must take decisive action to combat this challenge, regardless of its form or manifestation.”

Highlighting the direct impact of Afghanistan’s situation on regional security, Modi expressed India’s concerns and expectations, which are shared by the majority of SCO countries.

He stressed the importance of collective efforts for the benefit of the people of Afghanistan, including providing humanitarian aid, establishing an inclusive government, combating terrorism and drug trafficking, and safeguarding the rights of women, children, and minorities. These priorities are shared among the member states, he said.

Modi extended his good wishes to Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi and the people of Afghanistan as Iran officially joined the SCO as its ninth member. Additionally, Belarus will sign a memorandum of obligations, paving the way for its future membership.

The virtual proceedings were attended by Russian President Vladimir Putin, Chinese President Xi Jinping, leaders from four central Asian countries, and Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi.

The SCO, initially formed in 2001 by China and Russia with former Soviet central Asian states as members, later expanded to include India and Pakistan. Its objective is to counter Western influence in the Eurasian region.