Chairing the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation heads of government meeting attended, among others, by China and Pakistan, Vice-President M Venkaiah Naidu today tore into Islamabad for using terrorism as an instrument of state policy and repeatedly raising bilateral Indo-Pak issues at multilateral forums.

Underlining that economic growth and trade could only operate in an environment of peace and security, he said, “Peace is the essential prerequisite for progress. The most important challenge faced by us in the region is terrorism, particularly cross-border terrorism. Terrorism is truly the enemy of humanity. It is a scourge we need to collectively combat.”

With Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan opting out of it, the meeting was attended by Pakistan’s parliamentary secretary for foreign affairs. Chinese Premier Li Keqiang and the prime ministers of other SCO countries~ Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan– also attended the meeting.

Without directly naming Pakistan, Naidu condemned terrorism in all its manifestations, saying India was concerned about threats emerging from ungoverned spaces and the threat from countries that leverage terrorism as an instrument of state policy. “Such an approach is entirely against the spirit and charter of the SCO,” he reminded.