Def. Minister Calls for Zero Tolerance Towards Terrorism
The Defence Minister, Nirmala Sitharaman, has urged the Eurasian nations to closely coordinate and adopt a policy of zero tolerance towards terrorism and pursue defence cooperation in the Eurasian region. She was addressing the 15th SCO Defence Ministers’ Meeting held in Beijing on April 24. At the meeting, India has sought to further enhance and deepen cooperation with all the member countries of SCO for mutual benefit.
“International terrorism is today the most serious threat to our peaceful societies. Terrorism threatens to derail our developmental aspirations and create sustained instability both within our countries and across national borders. Arguments of political convenience to provide an alibi for terrorist groups or organisations that support terrorism through material support or otherwise are no longer tolerable. Indeed, as the world has now realized, there are no good terrorists. India will continue to engage strongly with the SCO-Regional Anti-Terrorism Structure based in Tashkent in this regard,” she said.
Sitharaman has also stated that in the days ahead, India would work with the SCO partners to energize and revitalize the age-old ties of affinity with the countries in the region. She has urged SCO members to work towards enhancing greater communication among member countries within the region as well as in the broader international context. “This is essential for progressive trends towards stability and peace to reassert itself and to arrest the current drift in ties between major powers,” she added.
Since defence cooperation, especially enhanced linkages between armed forces, is an important dimension of SCO, Sitharaman has stated that India was keen to explore the full potentialities of this engagement. “India will engage with a positive approach and an open mind on all issues related to defence cooperation within the SCO framework and will participate in the SCO’s Peace Mission joint military exercises being held in Russia later this year,” she said.