Sun, Oct 23, 2016 | updated 01:20 PM IST

Ensure terrorism is not 'glorified and patronised', Rajnath tells SAARC members

Updated: Aug 04, 2016 16:27 IST

Islamabad, July 4 (ANI): Calling upon the international community, especially Pakistan, to ensure that "terrorism is not glorified and is not patronised" by any state, Indian Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Thursday said immediate and effective action is required against all those supporting or encouraging terrorism.

"If we are to rid ourselves of terrorism, we will have to genuinely believe that attempts to distinguish between 'good' and 'bad' terrorists are misleading, and thus, no type of terrorism or support to it can be justified on any grounds whatsoever," he said in his address at the seventh SAARC Home Ministers meet here.

"Moreover, the will and the mandate of the international community against proscribed and wanted terrorists and their organisations must also be respected and implemented. Immediate and effective action is required against all those who support or encourage international terrorism in any way, whether they are state actors or non-state. Only then justice will be ensured for the victims of terrorist attacks such as in Mumbai and Pathankot. We must have the approach of 'zero tolerance' against any type of terrorism," he added.

The Home Minister's statement came in wake of the Pakistan Government, especially Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, hailing slain Hizbul Mujahideen terrorist Burhan Wani as "martyr".

"One country's terrorist cannot be a martyr or freedom fighter for anyone," the Home Minister stressed.

"Those who provide support, encouragement, sanctuary, safe haven or any assistance to terrorism or terrorists must be isolated. Strongest possible steps need to be taken not only against terrorists and terrorist organisations, but also those individuals, institutions, organisations or nations that support them. Only this will ensure that the forces engaged in promoting the heinous crime of terrorism against humanity are effectively countered," the minister told the member nations.

Regarding terrorism in the SAARC region, the Home Minister said, "Our vision for the region, as outlined by Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the eighteenth summit, rests on the pillars of trade, investments, wide-ranging development cooperation, contacts between our people - and, all through seamless connectivity. But, the success of our efforts to promote prosperity, connectivity and cooperation in our region depends on the right environment in South Asia to attain these objectives."

"However, we are witness to mounting threats and incidents that endanger our region's peace and stability. Terrorism remains the biggest challenge and threat to our peace. South Asia continues to be deeply affected by this malady, as 'witnessed most recently in cowardly terrorist attacks in Pathankot, Dhaka, Kabul and other places."

Rajnath, however, stressed: "Merely strong condemnation of such terrorist attacks was not enough. We must harden our resolve to eradicate this menace."

Putting forward India's view on the need to ensure peace and security for the economic and social progress of the large number of people residing in this region, Singh said: "Right from its formation, the Government of India under the leadership of Prime Minister Modi has accorded the highest priority to establishing good relations with the our neighbours.

"Under our "neighbourhood first" policy, we have spared no effort in further building our engagement, and working together with our partners in the region, to secure peace and prosperity for our people."

The Home Minister said after thirty years of formation of SAARC, strengthening regional cooperation in South Asia is all the more required today so that the aspirations and expectations of the people of this region are realised.(ANI)