Sunday, June 11, 2017

Disputes persist as India, Pak enter SCO: PM Modi builds 'terrorism' pressure on Islamabad,

At the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) Summit at Astana, the differences between India and Pakistan came to light when contrary to Narendra Modi's assertiveness on terrorism, his Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif rather gave a push to the economic benefits and said, the global leaders, should not leave a legacy of "toxic harvest of conflict and animosity".
Mr Sharif went onto say that Pakistan is "diligently implementing" the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, which is already a bone of contention with India.

India made entry into the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) on June 9, 2017 with the Prime Minister Modi taking a dig at Pakistan on terror front and said the rejuvenated Eurasian forum should make coordinated efforts to fight terrorism including radicalisation, recruitment and financing of terrorists.
"Mujhe pura viswas hae ki Bharat-SCO sahyog, atankvad ke khilaf ladai ki ek nayi disha tatha shakti pradan karega (I have full confidence that India-SCO cooperation will give the fight against terrorism a new direction and new prowess)," Mr Modi said in presence of heads of nation of SCO including Chinese President Xi Jinping as well as his Pakistan counterpart Nawaz Sharif.

PM Modi also sought to build up pressure on Pakistan vis-a-vis terror front and said
the fight against terrorism cannot achieve success unless there are concerted efforts on the issue of radicalisation and recruitment of terrorists.

"The fight against terrorism is an important part of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO). Whether it is the issue of radicalisation, recruitment of terrorists, their training and financing, unless we take coordinated and strong efforts, it is not possible to find a solution," Mr Modi said.

"Terrorism is violation of human rights and basic human values," he further said.

On the sidelines of Summit of Shangahi Cooperation Organisation, where India and Pakistan got berth as members, Prime Minister Narendra Modi also pursued his diplomatic skills in establishing dialogue at the highest level with the Chinese President Xi Jinping and both sides agreed that they have "great interest" in working together. Modi was quite emphatic in telling the Chinese leader that even as India too favoured push to the connectivity projects vis-a-vis Eurasian region, the Chinese initiatives like OBOR and China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC)
had certain issues to be addressed.
"For connectivity initiatives and for success and approval of the projects, sovereignty and regional integrity must be respected while inclusivity and sustainability are essential," Prime Minister said.
Modi with Chinese Prez

India had abstained from the conference on the One Belt and One Road, a Chinese initiative as the proposed CPEC link would pass through Gilgit and Baltistan, both falling in Jammu and Kashmir and is forcefully occupied by Pakistan.

The crucial engagement between two Asian players also came on the backdrop of Beijing stalling India's admission into the 48-member Nuclear Suppliers Group and also eloquently expressing its reservation on designating Pakistan-based and Jaish-e-Mohammad leader as a global terrorist by the United Nations. In his brief speech at the SCO Summit, Prime Minister Modi without making any specific reference said, "Fight against terrorism, extremism and radicalization was one of the main tasks before the organization".  Both India and Pakistan - which were enjoying 'observer' status to the SCO since 2005 - were today granted admission into the body that was founded largely at the initiative of China in 2001.
The founding members of the SCO are China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan
On Modi's bilateral engagement with Chinese President Xi Jinping, Foreign Secretary Dr S Jaishankar said, "It's also understood that where India-China have differences they shouldn't become disputes and if handled well these can become opportunities".
During the meet, Prime Minister told the Chinese President that India is grateful for China's support to ensure India's admission into the SCO.

"In the time of global uncertainty, India and China are the factors of stability. As the world becomes more multi-polar, India and China should work together," Dr Jaisankar said. India has maintained that in the SCO there are several member nations who are in the neighbourhood of Afghanistan and the SCO berth would help India establish important dialogues with such nations and establish peace in Afghanistan and in the rest of the region.

Prime Minister Modi said India's entry into the key strategic and economic regional forum would mark a "historical turn" for the SCO and that India would be firm about its "pro-active and constructive role" in the organisation.
India's cooperation in the SCO would be significant in the fight against terrorism and radicalism, Prime Minister said even as he maintained that connectivity would be a crucial aspect of cooperation in the functioning of the SCO.
Mr Modi said that the development of SCO would mark the development of 42 per cent of the global population.

There are extensive potentials for cooperation among the SCO nations in multiple sectors like education, agriculture, energy, defence, minerals, capacity building, development partnership and trade and investment.
Last evening, Modi also spoke to Pakistan counterpart Nawaz Sharif and exchanged pleasantries.
Amid tensions punctuated with frequent gunfire along the Line of Control in Jammu and Kashmir, both the leaders interacted at a  Lounge at the Astana Opera before the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation concert organised to welcome the leaders for the SCO Summit.
Sources further said since it was the "first occasion" when the two leaders came across each other after Mr Sharif's operation, PM Modi enquired about Pakistan Prime Minister's health and also asked about Mr Sharif's mother.
Prime Minister also met Uzbekistan President Shavkat Mirziyoyev and also discussed with Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev on the sidelines of SCO Summit discussed on ways to expand bilateral India-Kazakh ties.
According to Pakistan media reports, Nawaz Sharif said in his brief remarks that "the SCO goals resonate with Pakistan's national ethos, and so do the core values of the Shanghai spirit and the SCO charter with our own quest for peaceful neighbourhood".
He said the SCO has emerged as a 'sheet anchor' for regional stability and is "destined to become a cornerstone of global politics and economics, with economics gaining primacy".
Mr Sharif said the SCO platform would also help "combat terrorism, reduce arms race, eliminate poverty".
Expansion of the SCO -- with inclusion of Pakistan and India - has taken place at an 'opportune time', Mr Sharif said, as China's 'One Belt, One Road' (OBOR) initiative has transformed the global economic landscape.
"In Pakistan, we are diligently implementing the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, which is a flag of the OBOR," Mr Sharif said.

(ends)

Modi with Putin at St Petersburg during India-Russia Summit

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