New Delhi/Bishkek: India and Pakistan traded veiled barbs at each other at the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) Summit at Bishkek in Kyrgyzstan on Friday, with Prime Minister Narendra Modi saying that “responsibility should be fixed on nations that inspire, support and finance terrorism” while his Pakistani counterpart Imran Khan singled out “state terrorism against people under illegal occupation”, an oblique reference to Pakistani accusations against India on Kashmir.
In his address, the Pakistan Prime Minister also appeared keen on talks, saying that “peace and prosperity in south Asia will remain elusive until the main dynamic in south Asia is shifted from confrontation to cooperation”. It may be recalled that India’s stand has been that it will not hold bilateral talks with Pakistan till Islamabad stops supporting cross-border terrorism.
The Bishkek Declaration issued after the summit condemned terrorism in all its forms and manifestations, and called on the international community to promote cooperation in combating the menace “without politicisation and double standards”.
The SCO member-nations discussed the menace of terrorism, the situation in Afghanistan and global economic issues. India was the only SCO member-nation to not endorse the Chinese Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) in the declaration.
The Shanghai Cooperation Organisation is an eight-member Central Asian Grouping that comprises China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, India, Russia, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and Pakistan. India and Pakistan became SCO members in 2017.
New Delhi has refused to join the BRI since the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) — that passes through Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK) — is one of its flagship projects.