Stating that the “hydra-headed monster of terrorism and extremism” must be fought with full might, Pakistan Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif told the SCO leaders’ summit on Tuesday that “any temptation to use it as a cudgel for diplomatic point-scoring must be eschewed”.
Sharif also said that religious minorities should never be “demonised in the pursuit of domestic political agendas”.
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China’s President Xi Jinping said they should “bridge differences through dialogue, and replace competition with cooperation”, and “truly respect each other’s core interests and major concerns”.
Addressing the summit through the virtual mode, Xi said, “We must be highly vigilant against external attempts to foment a new Cold War or camp-based confrontation in our region. We must resolutely reject any interference in our internal affairs and the instigation of ‘color revolutions’ by any country under whatever pretext.”
Sharif said in his address, “SCO member-states have a shared interest in ensuring peace and stability in the region, which is a precondition for economic development. The hydra-headed monster of terrorism and extremism, whether performed by individuals, or societies and states, must be fought with our full might. Any temptation to use it as a cudgel for diplomatic point-scoring must be eschewed. Instead of cherry-picking for narrow political gains, terrorism in all its forms and manifestations, including State terrorism, must be condemned in clear and unambiguous terms.”Read | India refuses to back Xi's BRI project
There can be “no justification for killing of innocent people, regardless of the cause or pretext, (and) similarly, religious minorities should never be demonised in the pursuit of domestic political agendas”, he said.
Sharif said that peace in the context of contemporary inter-state relations could be negative or positive. “negative peace”, he said, refers to absence of violence but persistence of the conflict’s root causes. “The ‘positive peace’ connotes a situation where underlying causes of a conflict are addressed, leading to justice and equity for all. We must strive for establishing positive peace in the SCO region,” he said.Advertisement
To achieve that goal, the Pakistan PM said that “fundamental rights and freedoms must be guaranteed to all, including those under occupation. Peace and communal harmony should replace violent ultra-nationalism and xenophobic ideologies, especially Islamophobia.”
“Further, we should resolutely oppose divisive policies, based on prejudice a