PM tells NAM no nation should provide safe haven to terrorists

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Sharm-el-Sheikh (Egypt), July 15 (ANI): Addressing the 118-member XVth Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) Summit in this Red Sea resort on Wednesday afternoon, India's Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh, without directly naming or targeting Pakistan, said that no nation should provide a safe haven to terrorists.

Apparently setting the tone for what he is likely to take up with Pakistan Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani during their meeting on Thursday, Dr. Singh said that in recent years terrorists have become "more sophisticated, more organized and more daring".

Dr. Singh said that terror infrastructures in any part of the world must and should be dismantled. He was indirectly referring to the number of times India has been subjected to terror strikes in the recent past, the alleged export of terror from Pakistani soil, and in particular to the Mumbai terror attacks of November 2008 in which more than 180 persons had been killed and more than 300 had been maimed by terrorists from Pakistan.

"Terrorists and those who aid and abet them must be brought to justice. The infrastructure of terrorism must be dismantled and there should be no safe havens for terrorists because they do not represent any cause, group or religion. It is time we agree on a comprehensive convention on international terrorism," the Prime Minister said.

The convention would bind countries to an internationally accepted definition of terrorism and abide by a code of conduct in dealing with the issue of trans-border terrorism, he added.he Prime Minister said "extremism, intolerance and terrorism are our antitheses; they seek to destroy us and our movement."

Dwelling on other issues, Dr. Singh called on multilateral institutions like the UN to include developing countries as members.

"Developing countries must be fully represented in the decision making levels of international institutions if they are to remain effective. Decision making processes, whether in the United Nations or the international financial institutions continue to be based on charters written more than 60 years ago, though the world has changed greatly since then," he said.

Recalling the first NAM summit of 1961, Dr. Singh said India's first Prime Minister, Jawaharlal Nehru, who was one of the founders of movement, had spoken of the "moral force" of the grouping. He said Nehru's words held true even today.

"History has shown that non-alignment is an idea that evolves but does not fade. We must take it forward, harnessing it to meet the challenges of today," he said.

The relevance of NAM, he countered, has never been greater than today.

Focusing on the economic challenges ahead, he said no other NAM summit had ever "been held in an economic and financial crisis of the magnitude that now grips the world".

Though the crisis had emanated from advanced industrial economies, "developing economies, the members of our movement, have been the hardest hit," he said.

The Prime Minister asserted that NAM had a "great stake in ensuring that steps planned to revive the global economy take into account the concerns of developing countries."

"These include the challenges of food security, energy security, the environment and the reform of institutions of global governance."

He said NAM had a "crucial stake in a rule-based multilateral trading system and in an early conclusion of a balanced and fair agreement in the Doha round."

He also said that cooperation, trade and investment among NAM countries could contribute significantly to reviving the world economy.

Speaking about climate change, Dr. Singh said: "We are already making our own significant contributions in this regard, but climate change action must not perpetuate the poverty of developing countries."

NAM should be used to achieve "a comprehensive, balanced and above all equitable outcome in the ongoing multilateral negotiations, leading up to the Copenhagen conference in December this year". By Smita Prakash (ANI)

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