SAARC countries should be sensitive to each other’s security concerns
New Delhi, Dec 8 (PTI) In a veiled attack on Pakistan, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj today termed terrorism as one of the most serious challenges facing South Asia and said it can be tackled only when every country recognises that there are “no good or bad terrorists”.
Underlining that all terrorists “are the same”, Swaraj said SAARC countries must remain sensitive to each other’s security concerns and should neither encourage nor undertake any activity that might be detrimental to the security and welfare of the neighbour.
“Only then can we create a genuine, cooperative, South Asian security community,” she asserted in comments that came amid increasing attacks by Pakistani militants in Jammu and Kashmir that have claimed the lives of 14 Army personnel in less than a month.
The Army and security agencies believe that the militants came from across the border.
Talking about economic growth and social progress in the region, she said it is possible only in a peaceful and secure environment.
“Terrorism is one of the most serious challenges facing the entire South Asian region and it can only be dealt with when each one of us recognises that there are no good terrorists and bad terrorists. They are all the same,” she said in her address at an event organised by South Asian University here.
Pakistan has been accused of playing favourites when it comes to tackling terror. While it is taking action against Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan terrorists, terror groups inimical to India have been nurtured.
“As neighbours we must remain sensitive to each other’s security concerns and neither encourage nor undertake any activity that might be detrimental to the security and welfare of the neighbour,” she said.
“It is equally important to ensure that we fulfil our international and regional obligations in terms of denying sanctuary, funding and training support to non-state actors, terrorists and criminals,” Swaraj said.
The Minister said that SAARC nations must also strengthen defences against illicit narcotics, fake currency, weapons smuggling, human trafficking and cyber crime.
“We must work together to neutralise the threats posed to each other by sharing resources and intelligence and data about extremists and terrorist outfits. Only then can we create a genuine, cooperative, South Asian security community,” she said.