Pakistan Foreign Minster Shah Mahmood Qureshi, in a veiled reference to India and India-administered Kashmir, urged Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) members on Wednesday to prevent any country from using terrorism-related allegations as a political tool to malign any other country, race and religion.
During the virtual meeting of SCO foreign ministers, primarily focused on the COVID-19 pandemic, Qureshi said, "We strongly believe that tackling all forms of terrorism and extremism must continue to be a high priority...We must condemn and hold accountable the perpetrators of state terrorism including against people under illegal occupation"
Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan has previously accused India of “continuing war crimes” on the India's side of Kashmir and termed the Narendra Modi government as "fascist Hindutva Supremacist".
The Indian foreign ministry rejected the accusation, and said that Pakistan's leadership made "bizzare comments to shift the focus from their abysmal handling of their internal affairs”.
The dispute over Kashmir between both the countries remains unresolved since 1947 and the countries have fought three wars over the territory. The relations between the two nuclear armed nations further deteriorated when India stripped Jammu and Kashmir of its special status by revoking Article 370 of the country's constitution in October last year. Pakistan termed the decision unilateral and in violation of bilateral treaties and urged global powers to intervene in the matter.
Turning to the COVID-19 pandemic, the minister listed the steps taken to contain the infection spread in the country.
"While expanding our capacity to Test, Trace and Quarantine, Pakistan has been instituting smart lockdowns. A Relief Force of volunteer youth is being raised to support the needy. A financial stimulus package of $8 billion has been announced," he said.
The foreign ministers of the member countries of Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) met on Wednesday to discuss the COVID-19 pandemic. The SCO is a group of eight countries - China, Russia, India, Pakistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.