Radicalisation, trust deficit biggest challenges to peace: Modi


[**EDS: IMAGE POSTED BY @DrSJaishankar** Dushanbe: Prime Minister Narendra Modi addresses the plenary session of the 21st Meeting of SCO Council of Heads of State via video-link, in Dushanbe, Friday, Sept 17, 2021. ( /PTI] New Delhi, Sep 17 : Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday called for a shared template to fight against radicalisation and extremism while virtually addressing the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) summit. Addressing the plenary session of the 21st SCO meeting underway in Dushanbe, Tajikistan, he said radicalisation and trust deficit were the biggest challenges to peace in Central Asia and the recent developments in Afghanistan had made this challenge more clear. In his six-minute virtual address, Modi said: "If we look back in the history, we will find that the Central Asia has been the hub of moderate, progressive cultures and values. Cultures like Sufiwad born here and spread to whole world. It can even now be seen in its cultural legacy." The SCO should work to develop strong network among the moderate, tolerant and inclusive institutions and traditions associated with Islam which have already been prevailing in India and member countries, he added. The Prime Minister also asked the Central Asian countries to connect with India's huge markets and gain benefits. "India is committed to enhance its connectivity with these countries and we believe that landlocked Central Asian countries can benefit immensely by connecting with India's vast market." In a veiled reference to China on connectivity issues, he said that any connectivity initiative cannot be a one-way street initiative. "It must be ensured, consultative, transparent and participatory. There should be respect for territorial integrity of all countries," Modi said and also batted for Chabahar and North South International Corridor. Welcoming the new additions to the bloc, he said with Iran being included as the SCO member while Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Qatar as dialogue partners, their participation would further strengthened the bloc. "We must encourage our talented youngsters towards science and rational thinking. We can bring our start-ups and entrepreneurs together to create the innovative spirit towards making India a stakeholder in emerging technology," Modi concluded. /IANS


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