Defence Minister Rajnath Singh with Russian Defence Minister Sergey Shoigu in Tashkent on Wednesday (Image courtesy: Ministry of Defence, Russia)
Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Wednesday personally thanked his counterpart from Russia for detaining a suicide bomber of the Islamic State who was planning to carry out a terrorist attack in India.
Singh, who is in the Uzbekistan capital of Tashkent for a meeting of defence ministers of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) member states, met Russian Defence Minister Sergey Shoigu on Wednesday morning.
“During the exchange of pleasantries with the Russian Defence Minister, Shri Rajnath Singh conveyed his deep appreciation and thanks for arresting in Moscow a terrorist who was planning attacks in India,” said the Indian Defence Ministry.
The Federal Security Service of the Russian Federation (FSB RF) revealed on Monday that it had detained a suicide bomber of the Islamic State who planned to carry out a terrorist attack against “one of the representatives of the ruling circles” of India.
The FSB had also revealed that the detained terrorist, a native of a country in the Central Asian region, was recruited in Turkey between April to June 2022 and then processed using the Telegram messenger “and at personal meetings in Istanbul” with one of the IS leaders.
The top Russian security agency mentioned that the terrorist “swore allegiance to the ISIS amir”, after which he was given the task of leaving for Russia, completing the necessary documents and flying to India to carry out the attack.
New Delhi remains in constant touch with Moscow as it plans to interrogate the terrorist to probe further into the entire terror module.
Meanwhile, in his address at the SCO Defence Ministers’ meet, Singh once again called for a united fight against terrorism, asserting that the menace in any form – including cross-border terrorism committed by anyone and for whatever purpose – is a crime against humanity.
“Terrorism is one of the most serious challenges to global peace and security. India reiterates its resolve to fight all forms of terrorism and make the region peaceful, secure and stable,” said the Defence Minister.
“We seek to develop joint institutional capabilities with the SCO member states, which, while respecting the sensitivities of each country, create the spirit of cooperation among individuals, societies and nations,” he added.
On Afghanistan, Singh mentioned that the Afghan territory must not be used to intimidate or attack any country by providing safe havens and training to terrorists and supporting their activities through financial assistance.
Voicing India’s “full support” to a peaceful, secure and stable Afghanistan, he once again underlined the significance of establishing a broad-based, inclusive and representative political structure in the country.
New Delhi, he said, also supports talks between Russia and Ukraine to resolve the ongoing crisis.
“India is concerned about the humanitarian crisis in and around Ukraine. We have extended our support for the efforts of the UN Secretary-General, UN agencies and International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) to provide humanitarian assistance,” stated Singh.
(Image courtesy: PIB)
Before concluding his speech, the Defence Minister invited all SCO Member States to visit India next year when New Delhi takes over the presidency of the organisation from Uzbekistan.
He referred to India’s age-old ties with the SCO countries, asserting that the Member States of the organisation are common stakeholders in the progress and prosperity of the region.
“India accords high priority to SCO because of its unwavering belief in multilateralism. There is a need to strengthen ties with SCO member states bilaterally and within the framework of the organisation on the basis of equality, respect and mutual understanding,” he said.
During his stay in Tashkent, Singh has also held bilateral meetings with his Uzbek, Kazakh, Belarusian and Kyrgyz counterparts, discussing defence cooperation and issues of mutual interest with them.