Prez: Terrorism needs to be dealt individually and collectively

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Pranab Mukerjee talks tough on terrorism
Bangalore, Oct 8: Raising the issue of cross border terrorism during his first visit to Turkey, a traditional ally of Pakistan, President Pranab Mukherjee on Tuesday said the menace must be dealt both "individually and collectively" as it was a threat to global peace.

The President also made it clear that India was against any third party intervention to resolve bilateral issues with Pakistan. The President, who met his Turkish counterpart Abdullah Gul and held 'restricted' talks with Turkish prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Monday, said both the leaders agreed with him that terrorism was a menace threatening the world and it needed to be dealt both "individually and collectively".

Turkey is a key member of the Organisation of the Islamic Conference (OIC), holding the post of Secretary General of the grouping, and is considered a traditional ally of Pakistan.

"I briefed the leaders of Turkey on our problems with terrorism particularly cross border terrorism. I also briefed them about initiatives that our government has taken to promote friendly relations and peace with Pakistan," he said while talking to reporters on board the aircraft.

"We agreed that terrorists rake wanton destruction and have no religion, no friends," the President said and added that Turkish Prime Minister sought assistance from India in learning about the experiences in dealing with terrorism, a menace also faced by Turkey.

The President denied that India wanted Turkey to influence Pakistan in dismantling the terror infrastructure and said "Our approach in respect of Pakistan is that it is essentially a bilateral issue which is to be resolved between India and Pakistan within the framework of Simla agreement.

Mukerjee: India never sought for any third country's intervention

"Therefore, the question of any third party intervention on these issues does not arise and India has never sought for any third country's intervention." Asked whether his talks with the Turkish leadership was a diplomatic victory in waning away that country from Pakistan, the President said "You know every country has its own approach towards other country."

"This much I would like to say that I briefed them about our initiatives on Pakistan and also the requirement which has been repeatedly placed before Pakistani leadership and I also mentioned about the last meeting of the two Prime Ministers at the United Nations."

PTI

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