Rajnath asks SCO nations to combat “terror and its enablers”
The Defence Minister invited SCO countries to enter into collaborative joint ventures in India under the ‘Make in India’ programme

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh with Council of Heads of Government (CHG) of Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) at Tashkent, Uzbekistan on November 2.

New Delhi (NVI): Defence Minister Rajnath Singh has called upon the member countries of Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) to strengthen and implement all existing international laws and mechanisms, without exceptions or double standards, to combat terrorism and its enablers.

“Terrorism continues to disrupt our societies and undermine our developmental endeavors. It is important for SCO countries to come together to deal with this menace,” Rajnath Singh said while addressing the 18th meeting of Council of Heads of Government (CHG) of SCO at Tashkent in Uzbekistan on November 2.

He congratulated Russia for successfully holding the SCO joint military exercise ‘CENTER 2019’ in Orenburg aimed at evolving drills of the participating armies in the fight against international terrorism.

The Minister, who is attending the SCO meeting as a special envoy of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, stressed that the process of globalisation has opened up immense opportunities for the growth of SCO members, but also brought to the fore multidimensional, complex and transnational threats affecting developing countries.

He urged the SCO to work together in defeating challenges like terrorism, climate change, endemic poverty, under development, pandemics and inequality, an official statement said.

He also voiced the Government’s resolve of providing an enabling economic ecosystem for partner countries to invest and do business in India. He listed out various initiatives taken by the Government in this regard including relaxing FDI reforms, allowing 100 per cent foreign investment in coal mining and contract manufacturing, easing sourcing norms for single-brand retailers and approving 26 per cent overseas investment in digital media.

The Defence Minister invited SCO countries to enter into collaborative joint ventures in India under the ‘Make in India’ programme and said that significant work has already been undertaken towards improving ‘Ease of Doing Business’ in the country.

“We strongly support the initiative to facilitate cooperation among small and medium-sized enterprises within the SCO. Food industry is another potential area of collaboration. SCO members can work together for technology and investment support to food processing and put in a supporting logistics chain,” he said.

He informed that India is ready to share its experience and expertise in skill development and capacity building in areas such as telemedicine, medical tourism, resource mapping, launching of satellites, agricultural education and effective and affordable pharmaceuticals.

Emphasising that ‘unilateralism and protectionism has done good to none’, Raksha Manrti reiterated the Government’s commitment to a transparent, rules-based, open, inclusive and non-discriminatory multilateral trading system with the World Trade Organisation at its centre.

“We need approaches, which are inclusive, transparent and firmly anchored in multi-lateralism. Successful multi-lateralism also needs adherence to core principles of respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity, non-interference and mutual cooperation,” he added.

Stating that economic cooperation is the foundation cementing the future of people and ensuring them a better life, the Minister said, “Economic growth must ensure welfare of our people. They have to be the center of our policies,” he added.

He also invited SCO Member states to join the ‘Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure’. “India would be holding Joint Urban Earthquake Search and Rescue exercise of SCO member States along with SCO Expert level meeting on disaster prevention later this week,”, he added.

He said, India will be hosting the next meeting of Council of Heads of Government in 2020 and in the run up to the meeting, India is planning to organise a series of events aimed at enhancing trade, economic, cultural and humanitarian cooperation among SCO Members.

Prime Minister of Uzbekistan Mr Abdulla Nigmatovich Aripov, Prime Ministers and Heads of Delegation of SCO Member States, Secretary-General of SCO Vladimir Norov and Executive Director of Regional Anti-Terrorist Structure(RATS) Jumakhon Giyosov also participated in the meeting.