There is no good or bad terrorism, says President

JAIPUR: The world should act against states that support and sponsor terrorism as an instrument of state policy, said President Pranab Mukherjee. 

Inaugurating a conference on counter-terrorism here, Mukherjee said, "There is no good or bad terrorism. It is pure and simple evil." The conference which brings together scholars and practitioners will see the top echelons of India's national security establishment speaking on counter-terrorism policies. 

Abdullah Abdullah, chief executive of Afghanistan, called upon the countries of the region to fashion a counter-terrorism strategy using the national capabilities of each country to work to a regional solution to a growing threat. In the power vacuum created after the end of the Cold War, regional powers engaged in proxy wars to serve their narrow security interests, Abdullah said without naming Pakistan. 

However, he stated Afghanistan was in the midst of yet another peace process - a next round of talks with the Taliban is scheduled to be held in Islamabad on February 6. Calling upon Afghanistan's neighbours to stop distinguishing between good and bad terrorists, the Afghan leader said, "Why can't we regionalise our national counter-terrorism plans? Heart of Asia, SCO and SAARC can be appropriate mechanisms to tackle this. We should operationalise these mechanisms." 

However, the Taliban attack in Kabul on Monday has put a shadow over those talks. "The government will never enter into peace talks with those who kill our citizens, women and children," tweeted Ashraf Ghani, president of Afghanistan. 

President Mukherjee said, "mere political and military strategies will not suffice" in the war against terror. A social and religious approach is important. While nations invest in capacity building to fight terror, Mukherjee said the pre-eminent focus should be on political management of terrorism, where nations can address issues of ideology. 

In pointed remarks, the President said in pluralistic societies like India, we should "celebrate" that pluralism. "Fragmentation of civil society is not a good strategy - it leads to competitive violence." 

"Celebrate pluralism, allow space to develop and find out identity within that space, that's very important. Global terror outfits have not been able to get traction in India. Strengthen that plurality," Mukherjee said. Without saying so, the President was addressing the intolerance debate in the country, which has dominated the narrative for some time. 

Vasundhara Raje, chief minister of Rajasthan and one of the organisers of the conference, said the country should be aware of threats from within our borders. "We should engage more with our communities, keep an eye on social stratification and make youngsters more employable" as tools to tackle extremism and radicalisation. 



Popular posts from this blog

How a cyber attack hampered Hong Kong protesters

‘Not Hospital, Al-Shifa is Hamas Hideout & HQ in Gaza’: Israel Releases ‘Terrorists’ Confessions’ | Exclusive

Former FARC guerrilla, Colombian cop pose naked together to promote peace deal