India asks SCO nations to act strongly against terror

Singh also voiced the government's resolve of providing an enabling economic ecosystem for partner countries to invest and do business in India.

New Delhi: Defence minister Rajnath Singh on Saturday called upon the member countries of Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) to strengthen and implement all existing international laws and mechanisms, without exceptions or double standards, to combat terrorism and its enablers.

“Terrorism continues to disrupt our societies and undermine our developmental endeavours. It is important for SCO countries to come together to deal with this menace,” said Mr Singh.

He was addressing the 18th meeting of Council of Heads of Government (CHG) of SCO at Tashkent in Uzbekistan as the special envoy of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Defence minister stressed that the process of globalisation has opened up immense opportunities for the growth of SCO members, but also brought to the fore multidimensional, complex and transnational threats affecting developing countries. He urged the SCO to work together in defeating challenges like terrorism, climate change, endemic poverty, under-development, pandemics and inequality.

Mr Singh also voiced the government’s resolve of providing an enabling economic ecosystem for partner countries to invest and do business in India. He listed out various initiatives taken by the Indian government in this regard including relaxing FDI reforms, allowing 100 per cent foreign investment in coal mining and contract manufacturing, easing sourcing norms for single-brand retailers and approving 26 per cent overseas investment in digital media.

Defence minister invited SCO countries to enter into collaborative joint ventures in India, saying that significant work has already been undertaken towards improving “ease of doing business” in the country.

“We strongly support the initiative to facilitate cooperation among small and medium-sized enterprises within the SCO. The food industry is another potential area of collaboration. SCO members can work together for technology and investment support to food processing and put in a supporting logistics chain,” he said.

Mr Singh also said that India is ready to share its experience and expertise in skill development and capacity building in areas such as telemedicine, medical tourism, resource mapping, the launching of satellites, agricultural education and effective and affordable pharmaceuticals.

Emphasising that ‘unilateralism and protectionism has done well to none’, Mr Singh reiterated the government’s commitment to a transparent, rules-based, open, inclusive and non-discriminatory multilateral trading system with the World Trade Organisation at its centre.

“We need approaches, which are inclusive, transparent and firmly anchored in multilateralism. Successful multilateralism also needs adherence to core principles of respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity, non-interference and mutual cooperation,” he added.

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