ASTANA, June 9 - India and Pakistan today became full members of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) with Prime Minister Narendra Modi strongly pitching for coordinated efforts by the countries of the grouping to combat terrorism and enhance connectivity without impinging on sovereignty and territorial integrity.
In his address at the annual summit of the SCO in the Kazakh capital, Modi said India�s entry into the SCO family would give a new momentum to the grouping in dealing with terrorism and other pressing challenges facing the region.
�Terrorism is a major threat to humanity,� Modi said, adding that there was a need for concerted efforts to defeat terrorism and radicalisation.
Modi stressed on coordinated efforts to fight the menace of terrorism, including radicalisation, recruitment, training and financing of terrorists. �I have full confidence that the India-SCO cooperation will give a new direction and strength to the fight against terrorism,� Modi said.
The Prime Minister also spoke on the need for enhancing connectivity in the region and said it was the key to boosting trade and investment. �We have extensive cooperation with SCO nations. We want to deepen the focus on connectivity,� he said.
The Prime Minister, speaking in the presence of Chinese President Xi Jinping and Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif among others, also asserted that sovereignty and territorial integrity should be the key factors in such a cooperation.
His remarks assume significance as they come weeks after India boycotted the high-profile Belt and Road Forum held in Beijing in which 29 world leaders took part. � PTI