In a veiled attack on neighbouring country Pakistan, India’s External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on Tuesday said that terrorism is an enemy of the basic human rights and the fight against it should also identify states that “encourage, support and finance” the menace and “provide sanctuary” to terror groups.

Raising the issue of global terrorism and protectionism, Swaraj urged the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation to act against the countries that promote terrorism during her address at the SCO Council of Foreign Ministers meeting which was also attended by Pakistan Foreign Minister Khawaja Muhammad Asif.

There are a number of challenges that are being faced by the world today, foremost being the threat of global terrorism and the imminent need to build a strong security architecture to combat it, the minister said.

“Terrorism is an enemy of the basic human rights: of life, peace and prosperity,” Swaraj said.

“We strongly believe that our fight against terrorism should not only seek to eliminate terrorists but should also identify and take strong measures against states that encourage, support and finance terrorism and provide sanctuary to terrorists and terror groups,” the Indian Minister said without mentioning any country.

“The criminal terrorist militias are not impeded by borders as they seek to destroy the architecture of international stability and build walls of fear in societies that believe in pluralism.

“Maiming and killing innocent lives indiscriminately, constitutes the most blatant violation of human rights. We have to work together to wipe-out this scourge from the face of the earth.

“In order to realise this objective, we must unite across our differences, strengthen our resolve and script an effective strategy against terror,” she added.

On trade and investment, Swaraj said that “protectionism in all its forms should be rejected and efforts should be made to discipline measures that constitute barriers to trade”.

The meeting was also attended by foreign ministers Wang Yi of China, Kairat Abdrakhmanov of Kazakhstan, Abdyldaev Erlan Bekeshovich of Kyrgyzstan, Sergey Lavrov of Russia, Sirodjidin Muhridinovich Aslov of Tajikistan, Abdulaziz Khafizovich Kamilov of Uzbekistan, and Secretary General of the SCO Rashid Alimov among others.

The SCO is a Eurasian intergovernmental organisation, the creation of which was announced in 2001 in Shanghai by Kazakhstan, China, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. It was preceded by the Shanghai Five mechanism.

India, along with Pakistan, were granted full member status at the SCO summit in Astana, Kazakhstan, in June 2017.

(With inputs from agencies)