India seeks terror-free Asia: SM Krishna

External Affairs Minister S M Krishna
Astana, Jun 15: Pitching for a terror-free Asia, India today (JUne 15) said safe havens and terror sanctuaries that "poison" the region should be dismantled, an apparent reference to Pakistan.

Addressing the 11th Summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) here in Kazakhstan, External Affairs Minister S M Krishna said that only a meaningful approach could eliminate the menace of terrorism and expressed India's interest in engaging in a greater manner with the Regional Anti-Terrorist Structure (RATS) of the SCO in this context.

"Terrorism and extremism show no respect for boundaries. India is only too familiar with this evil, which not just wantonly claims human lives, but threatens the social and economic progress of our societies," Krishna told the Summit of the six-nation grouping comprising China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.

He said "India would like to see the SCO zone emerge as a terror-free zone, free of safe havens and sanctuaries for terrorists and free of infrastructure of terrorism that poisons our common region." Although he did not name Pakistan, he was clearly referring to the country which has become an epicentre for global terrorism and a source of terrorism in India.

"Regional counter-terrorism cooperation can indeed play an important role in supporting action taken by individual countries.

"We see the Regional Anti-Terrorist Structure (RATS) as an important regional answer to the terrorism challenge. We look forward to India's greater engagement with RATS and in counter-terrorism exercises in the region," Krishna said.


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