NEW DELHI: Asserting that terrorist in one nation cannot be a martyr for another, India has asked SAARC nations including Pakistan to take effective steps against state and non-state actors supporting terrorism and extradite persons involved in it.
In a suo motu statement on his visit to Islamabad to attend the 7th SAARC Home Ministers Meeting on August 4 in Rajya Sabha, Home Minister Rajnath Singh said he had urged the members not to glorify terrorism or give patronage to it.
“A terrorist in one nation cannot be a martyr or freedom fighter for anyone,” he said.
“They should not make the mistake of distinguishing between good terrorism and bad terrorism,” he said. “It is necessary to take all effective steps against states or non-state actors encouraging or supporting terrorism.”
To ensure that terrorism is not encouraged, it was necessary that stringent action is not just initiated against terrorists but also against persons, organisations, institutions and states supporting them, Singh said.
He said he had suggested to the SAARC Ministers that sanctions and bans imposed against terrorists by the global community have to be honoured.
Stringent action should also be taken against persons involved in terrorism and their extradition should be ensured so that they can face the law, the Home Minister said.
“It is important for nations who have not ratified SAARC Convention on Mutual Assistance on Criminal Matters to do it,” he said, adding Pakistan has so far not ratified this Convention as well as SAARC Terrorist Offenses Monitoring Desk (STOMD) and SAARC Drug Offenses Monitoring Desk (SDOMD).
“I was told on behalf of Pakistan that they will soon act on ratifying these. And I hope that ‘soon’ is actually soon,” he said.
“The agenda of the meeting was terrorism, smuggling of narcotic drugs, cyber crime and human trafficking. Almost all countries, condemned terrorism in strongest possible term,” Singh said.
India placed special emphasis on terrorism as it posed the single biggest threat to peace and prosperity of South Asia, he said. “I called upon them to firmly resolve to uproot terrorism.”
Also, New Delhi urged all SAARC nations not to glorify or give patronage to terrorism. The Home Minister said dark clouds of terrorism have engulfed not just South Asia but the entire world.
“The entire world community is concerned about this serious threat. This was clear not just from the clear message India gave on the threat it poses to humanity, but also from the fact that most nations also expressed concern over it.”
India’s message is for humanity and human rights because “terrorism is the biggest threat to human rights,” he said.
At the meeting, Singh said the initiatives announced by India included offering technical assistance to make STOMD and SDOMC more effective.
India has also offered to host a meeting of experts on SAARC Anti Terrorism Mechanism on September 22-23, he said, adding he offered provision of training to SAARC member nations on preventing narcotics trade.
New Delhi also said it was ready to hold the first meeting of member state on Computer Emergency Response Teams (CERTs), the Home Minister said. Singh said he informed the SAARC ministers about recent initiatives by Government for women and child safety as also about financial inclusion schemes of Jandhan and Aadhaar to provide honest, transparent and accountable governance.