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Countries supporting, aiding and funding terrorism must be held accountable: PM Modi at SCO summit

PM Narendra Modi speaks at the SCO Summit. (Image source: @MEAIndia) Photograph:( Twitter )

WION Web Team Bishkek, Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan Jun 14, 2019, 12.01 PM (IST)

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday lashed out at countries "sponsoring, aiding and funding" terrorism and told top leaders at the SCO Summit that such states must be held accountable, in a veiled reference to Pakistan whose premier Imran Khan was among the audience.

"Countries supporting, aiding and funding terrorism must be held accountable," PM Modi said.

"India is committed to physical connectivity with SCO nations," the PM said, adding, "We are focussed on regional growth."

Modi highlighted the spirit and ideals of the SCO to strengthen cooperation in the fight against terrorism and also called for a global conference to combat the scourge of terrorism.

"During my visit to Sri Lanka last Sunday, I visited the St Anthony's church, where I witnessed the ugly face of terrorism which claims the lives of innocents anywhere," the Prime Minister said, referring to one of the sites of the devastating Easter Sunday attacks that killed 258 people in Sri Lanka.

To combat the menace of terrorism, countries will have to come out of their narrow purview to unite against it, Modi said in the presence of Russian President Vladimir Putin, Chinese President Xi Jinping, Pakistan Prime Minister Khan and Iran President Hassan Rouhani among others.

"Literature and culture provide our societies a positive activity, specially they stop the spread of radicalisation among the youths in our society," Modi said.

Watch: Modi addresses plenary session at SCO Summit

"Connectivity projects should respect sovereignty," he said.

PM Modi stressed the need to build ties with SCO nations. "India is committed to economic development," he said

"We have initiated tourist helplines," the Indian prime minister informed member nations,"visa norms for SCO nations have been relaxed," he added.

"We need better cooperation against terror," he asserted while emphasising that peace in the region is a "key concern". 

"We must eliminate terror in the region," the PM said.

It has been two years since India became a full member of the SCO. India has contributed positively in all the activities of the SCO, the Prime Minister said.

Modi arrived in the Kyrgyz capital on Thursday for the two-day SCO summit. The SCO is a China-led eight-member economic and security bloc with India and Pakistan being admitted to the grouping in 2017.

(With inputs from agencies)