India on Monday said the most important challenge facing the region is terrorism and that elimination of this threat will help it realise its true potential including in the economic sphere. In an address at the virtual meet of the council of heads of government of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO), Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu particularly mentioned about cross-border terrorism and called for combating the menace under a collective approach.
In a clear reference to Pakistan, Naidu said, "We are particularly concerned about states that leverage terrorism as an instrument of state policy." "The most important challenge faced by us is terrorism, particularly cross-border terrorism," he said. Naidu said that "elimination" of the threat of terrorism will help the region realise its true potential.
India is hosting the meet for the first time after it gained full membership of the influential grouping in 2017 and it will take place in the virtual format. In another reference to Pakistan, he said it is unfortunate that there were attempts to deliberately bring bilateral issues into the SCO and described it as a blatant violation of principles and norms of the charter of the grouping. In mid-September, India's National Security Advisor Ajit Doval walked out of a virtual meeting of top security officials of the SCO member states after the Pakistani representative projected a map that inaccurately depicted Kashmir. India had slammed Pakistan for the "blatant disregard" to the norms of the meeting.