Pakistan, India joining SCO to make bloc more influential: Putin

A day before, Prime Minister Modi met Chinese President Xi Jinping on the sidelines of the 17th Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) summit and discussed bilateral relations where the latter pointed out that the worldwide environment was undergoing profound and complex changes.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday in a veiled dig at both Pakistan and China, called for joint efforts to eliminate terrorism even as he emphasised that connectivity projects should not impinge on a country's sovereignty.

The PM also underlined India's commitment to trade in various sectors, including energy, education, security, minerals, development partnership and investment.

Hailing the SCO's efforts in the fight against terror, Modi expressed the hope that the eight-member Eurasian bloc will give a new direction and strength to this fight.

The Prime Minister, speaking in the presence of Chinese President Xi Jinping and the Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif among others, also asserted that sovereignty and territorial integrity should be the key factors in such a cooperation.

The recently concluded SCO Astana summit in Kazakhstan marked the entry of India and Pakistan as members of the organisation.

Pakistan, which was admitted to SCO as full member in Astana, Kazakhstan on Friday, had been an Observer with SCO since 2005.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi said the organization could play an important role in bringing peace in Afghanistan. Pakistan and Russian Federation had also developed deep defence cooperation in recent times, he said and expressed that it would be strengthened in the coming years. As SCO members, India and Pakistan troops may jointly take part in anti-terrorism exercises, which is an irony considering that their membership of Saarc has done little to rein in terrorism.

They exchanged greetings when they were in the leaders' lounge for the reception at the Astana Opera organised to welcome the leaders participating in the SCO Summit.

The Chinese leader also stated that his country offers to create a union of economic think tanks and Internet trade business associations.

Earlier in the day, Modi met Xi on the sidelines of the Summit and underscored the need to respect each other's "core concerns" and appropriately handle the disputes.

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