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The SIT, in a closure report filed on February 8, 2012, had given a clean chit to Modi, then the chief minister of Gujarat and 63 others in the riots, stating that there was no “prosecutable evidence” against them. | File Photo

Modi cites Afghanistan, pitches for template to deal with extremism at SCO meet

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday (September 17) called for developing a template by the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) to deal with the challenges of extremism and radicalisation effectively.

In the six-minute virtual address at the annual SCO summit in Dushanbe, Modi said that the ‘root cause’ of the problems facing the region is increasing radicalisation and the developments in Afghanistan reflected the challenge.

“Twentieth anniversary of the SCO is the right time to think about the future of SCO. The biggest challenges in this area are related to peace, security and trust deficit and root cause of these problems is increasing radicalisation. Recent developments in Afghanistan have made this challenge clear,” Modi said.

Modi said the SCO should work to develop a strong network among moderate, tolerant and inclusive institutions and traditions associated with Islam. He said that the fight against radicalisation is not only needed for regional security and trust, but also required to ensure a bright future for the youth of the region.

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The prime minister also said that India is committed to increasing its connectivity with Central Asia. At the same time, he also said that any connectivity initiative cannot be a ‘one-way street’ and connectivity projects should be consultative, transparent and participatory. “There should be respect for the territorial integrity of all countries,” he added.

“This year we are celebrating the 20th anniversary of SCO. I welcome Iran as a new member country of the SCO. I also welcome the three new dialogue partners: Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Qatar,” Modi said, welcoming Iran.

Modi also said that talented youngsters need to be encouraged towards science and rational thinking. “We can bring our start-ups and entrepreneurs together to make the innovative spirit towards making India a stakeholder in an emerging technology,” he added.

(With inputs from agencies)

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