Millennium Post

SCO must not ignore sovereignty: Indian envoy

India's Ambassador to China Vijay Gokhale on Thursday said the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) should not ignore the "sovereignty and territorial integrity" of member states while deepening cooperation on trade and connectivity.

Gokhale, speaking at the flag hoisting ceremony of India and Pakistan at the SCO headquarters in Beijing, was referring to the Chinese-sponsored multi-billion dollar economic corridor which passes through the part of Kashmir held by Pakistan and claimed by India.

"We support enhanced connectivity and unimpeded trade in the SCO region and believe that initiatives should be pursued in an inclusive and sustainable manner with due respect for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of all members," he said.

Beijing is building a $46 billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor which links Kashgar with Gwadar port in Balochistan. Indian has opposed the project citing the issue of "sovereignty".

At the SCO summit last week in Astan, where India and Pakistan were admitted to the grouping, Prime Minister Narendra Modi also raised the issue.

Addressing the event, Gokhale said: "Now as a full member of SCO, we look forward to further deepening these relations for mutual benefit.

"We would also like to deepen our cooperation in our joint fight against terrorism."
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