India makes strong anti-terror pitch at NAM summit

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Porlamar (Venezuela), Sep 18: Making a strong anti-terror pitch at the NAM Summit here, India today asserted that "concrete action" was needed in the fight against terrorism and asked the 120-nation group to set up a mechanism to ensure effective cooperation in combating the menace.

Vice President Hamid Ansari, who is leading the Indian delegation at the 17th Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) Summit in the absence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, said terrorism is one of the "most egregious sources of human right violations today" and its use as an instrument of state policy is to be unequivocally condemned.

 terrorist

The time has come "for our movement to recognise the need for concrete action in the fight against terrorism", Ansari said while addressing the plenary meeting of the bloc.

"We need to establish a mechanism within our movement that will ensure effective cooperation in combating terrorism, that is the main threat to security, sovereignty and development," he said.

Ansari's remarks came against the backdrop of India raising its concerns at various international fora over Pakistan's support to cross-border terrorism.

Prime Minister Modi had made clear references to Pakistan's support to terrorism without naming it at the G20 Summit in Hangzhou, at a BRICS meeting in Hangzhou and at the ASEAN and East Asia summits in Lao PDR.

Describing terrorism as the "biggest threat" to international peace and to the sovereignty of states, Ansari asserted that no cause justifies the indiscriminate killing of innocent civilians as a means to achieve a political goal or change of policies. He stated that terrorism has become a major impediment to development.

"It is therefore imperative for the Non-Aligned Movement to galvanise the international community to strengthen the international legal framework to address this menace, including by adopting the draft Comprehensive UN Convention on Terrorism, to ensure the closest cooperation amongst the international community to counter the scourge of terror," he said.

"We must also ensure that all existing structures that are the building blocks of UN's Global Counter Terrorism Strategy function in a non-partisan and professional manner," Ansari said.

Earlier, during NAM's Foreign Ministers' meeting, Minister of State for External Affairs M J Akbar had also called on NAM to set up a "working group on terrorism" to safeguard world peace, stability and prosperity.

"Governments which think they can pay lip service to sanity at a NAM summit, and continue to arm, shelter and exploit terrorists in a war by other means, when they return home will learn that you cannot sip on poison and hope to live," Akbar had said in an apparent reference to Pakistan.

PTI 

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