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Let’s not weaponise terrorism for diplomatic point-scoring, says Bilawal at SCO meeting

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Shanghai Cooperation Organisation’s (SCO) Council of Foreign Ministers (CFM) on Friday urged member nations to refrain from using terrorism as a diplomatic tool.

Speaking on the second day of his visit to India, the foreign minister emphasised the importance of greater cooperation among SCO countries in tackling terrorism, calling for joint efforts to address the issue’s root causes.

“The collective security of our peoples is our joint responsibility. […] Let’s not get caught up in weaponising terrorism for diplomatic point scoring,” the Foreign Office (FO) quoted Bilawal as saying.

According to the Hindustan Times, Jaishankar said: “While the world was engaged in facing Covid and its consequences, the menace of terrorism continues unabated. Taking our eyes off this menace would be detrimental to our security interests.

“We firmly believe that there can be no justification for terrorism, and it must be stopped in all its forms and manifestations, including cross-border terrorism,” Jaishankar said.

He further called for the “channel of activities for terrorist activities” to be “seized and blocked without distinction”.

The Indian news agency quoted the minister as saying, “Members need not be reminded that combating terrorism is one of the original mandates of the SCO.”

Jaishankar noted that the unfolding situation in Afghanistan following the Taliban’s return to power “remains at the centre of our attention”, adding that the efforts should be directed towards the welfare of the Afghan people, the Hindustan Times said.

Bilawal’s address also touched upon the issue of terrorism and Islamabad’s commitment to Afghanistan.

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