Sushma refers to Pulwama at SCO meet

Sushma Swaraj
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Bishkek (Kyrgyzstan)– India on Wednesday spoke about the Pulwama terror attack at a meeting of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) here and said the subsequent terror strikes in neighbouring Sri Lanka had made it more determined to fight the scourge firmly.

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, while attending the SCO Foreign Ministers’s conference, said that India’s wounds of the February 14 Pulwama attack were “still raw” when the ghastly terror attacks happened in Sri Lanka on Easter Sunday.

“Our heart goes out to our brothers and sisters in Sri Lanka, who have recently witnessed the ghastly act of terrorism. Our wounds of Pulwama attack were still raw and the news from the neighbourhood has made us more determined to fight firmly and resolutely against this menace,” she said.

The Pulwama terror attack was carried out by Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammad, whose suicide bomber rammed an explosive-laden vehicle into a CRPF convoy, killing 40 personnel.

The SCO is an eight-member organisation comprising India, China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikstan and Pakistan.

In her address, Swaraj stressed the need for strengthening cooperation within the SCO framework for comprehensive, cooperative and sustainable security.

“We would be open to ideas on how we can make the work of RATS (Regional Anti-Terrorist Structure) more effective in this regard,” she said.

Swaraj also highlighted India’s commitment to the development of Afghanistan.

“India stands committed to any process, which can help Afghanistan emerge as a united, peaceful, secure, stable, inclusive and economically vibrant nation with guaranteed gender and human rights,” she said.

“We also operationalised air freight corridors between Kabul and Kandahar and New Delhi and Mumbai in 2017. We welcome regional connectivity initiatives, which are inclusive, sustainable, transparent and respect the principles of sovereignty and territorial integrity,” the Indian Minister said.

She also pointed out the importance India attached to the SCO Afghanistan Contact Group and welcomed an early conclusion of the draft roadmap of further actions of the Contact Group.

Underlining that India was committed to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the Paris Agreement on Combating Climate Change, Swaraj said that she welcomed the agreement reached at COP 24 of the UNFCCC.

She also batted that SCO must support the member countries’ candidatures for the non-permanent membership of United Nations Security Council (UNSC) for the years 2021-2022 and 2027-2028. (IANS)


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