Tribune News Service
New Delhi, November 10
Prime Minister Narendra Modi today obliquely targeted China and Pakistan, while asking all member countries to respect each other’s sovereignty and territorial integrity in planning transport corridors.
Speaking via video-conferencing at the SCO summit, the PM first listed the transnational transport corridors that India is involved in — North-South Transport Corridor, Chabahar Port and Ashgabat Agreement — none of which give any country cause for complaint.
PM Modi then asked countries to respect the sensitivities of others in a hint at the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) that cuts across territories in Pakistan-Occupied Kashmir claimed by India.
The PM made the comment in the presence of Chinese President Xi Jinping, Pakistan PM Imran Khan, Russian President Vladimir Putin and other top leaders of the influential grouping.
Multilateral organisations such as SCO prohibit members from airing bilateral disputes, which led the PM to indirectly hint at India’s opposition to the CPEC route.
The PM also said India’s priority during its two-year stint at the UNSC from January 1, 2021, and at other multilateral organisations was to strive for “reformed multilateralism” to meet the expectations of a world suffering from the social and financial after effects of the pandemic.
The SCO summit host, Putin, seen taking notes during PM Modi’s address in Hindi, as well as Xi Jinping spoke against the “numerous attempts to directly interfere in the internal affairs” of SCO member countries, in a reference to the regime change agenda often pursued in countries around their periphery.
This was the first SCO summit held in virtual format and the third that India participated after becoming a full member in 2017.
The PM also underlined India’s strong cultural and historical connect with the SCO region and reiterated India’s firm commitment towards strengthening connectivity in the region.
He also reiterated India’s readiness to host the next regular meeting of the SCO Council of Heads of Government on November 30 in virtual format.
The PM also congratulated Tajik President Emomali Rahmon for assuming the chairmanship of the SCO next year and assured full cooperation from India.