Samarkand: To combat the security threat posed by militant groups, the members of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) plan to prepare a unified list of terrorist, separatist and extremist organisations whose activities are banned on their territories.
In a joint declaration issued at the end of the annual summit of the eightmember bloc in the historic Uzbek city of Samarkand on Friday, the leaders of the SCO member states expressed deep concern over the security threat posed by terrorism, separatism and extremism in all its forms and manifestations and strongly condemned terrorist acts around the world.
The bloc members are China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, India and Pakistan.
Ironically, ahead of signing the declaration, China blocked a proposal by the US and India at the United Nations to blacklist top Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) militant Sajid Mir. He is one of India’s most wanted terrorists and the main handler of the deadly 2008 Mumbai attacks, with a bounty of $5million placed on his head by the US.
This is the third such move by Beijing within four months.
As per the Samarkand declaration signed by the leaders of the eight-member grouping, “In accordance with their national legislation and on the basis of consensus, the member states will seek to develop common principles and approaches to form a unified list of terrorist, separatist and extremist organisations whose activities are prohibited on the territories of the SCO member states.”
Briefing reporters, Foreign Secretary Vinay Kwatra said that each of the SCO member states was very clear in recognising the threat that this challenge poses to the region and beyond.
To counter the threat of chemical and biological terrorism, the SCO members called for compliance with the Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production, Stockpiling and Use of Chemical Weapons.
“They stress the importance of the early destruction of all declared stockpiles of chemical weapons,” the declaration said.