India says terrorism biggest threat to international peace
Abuja : In a veiled attack on Pakistan, India today condemned the use of terrorism as an instrument of state policy, describing the menace as the biggest threat to international peace and to the sovereignty of states as well as pluralist and open societies.
“Your country, like my own, has suffered the horrors of this scourge of humanity. Terrorism today has global reach, no city remains safe. There is a new level of threat to pluralist and open societies,” Vice President Hamid Ansari said in his address to officers of the National Defence College here in the Nigerian capital.
“Today, the biggest threat to international peace, and to the sovereignty of States, is Terrorism. Kautilya called it ‘secret war’,” he said while speaking on ‘Emerging Security Imperatives in the context of India-Nigeria relations’.
“No cause justifies the indiscriminate killing of innocent civilians as a means to achieve a political goal or change of policies,” he said, adding that terrorism is one of the most egregious sources of human right violations, and it has become a major impediment to development.
Nigeria has witnessed multiple attacks by Boko Haram, which opposes western education and wants to set up an Islamic caliphate in Africa’s most populous country.
In 2013, the US designated it a terrorist outfit, amid fears that it had developed links with other groups such as al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb to wage a global jihad.
In one of the major attacks, the Boko Haram militants captured approximately 300 girls – between the ages of 16 and 18 – from a boarding school in Nigeria’s Borno state in 2014.
“Nigeria, like India, has suffered the horrors of this scourge of humanity and use of terrorism as an instrument of State policy is to be unequivocally condemned,” he said, without directly naming Pakistan.
“There can be no distinction between good and bad terrorists. A terrorist is a terrorist; one who commits crimes against humanity cannot have any religion, or be afforded any political sanctuary,” he said, referring to Pakistan’s policy of diving the Taliban militants into good and bad categories.
India accuses Pakistan of training, funding and arming terror groups such as Lashkar-e-Taiba and Jaish-e-Mohamad who carry out deadly attacks in the country. In most recent attack, Pakistan-based terrorists killed 18 Indian soldiers during an attack on an army camp in Uri town in Kashmir.
“We have to help each other by sharing intelligence, securing our cyber space, and minimising the use of Internet and social media for terrorist activities,” Asnari told the Nigerian officers, asserting that terrorism can only be defeated by organised global action.
He called for restructuring the legal framework by adopting a comprehensive convention on international terrorism. “No country in the world, howsoever powerful, can counter the emergent threats unilaterally. This, therefore, makes diplomacy doubly important for developing economies such as ours,” he said.
“Together we stand as giants of Africa and Asia respectively and as we march ahead in our quest for economic and military security, collaborative efforts borne out of mutual trust can be leveraged effectively to achieve our strategic goals,” the Vice President said.