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Epicenter of terrorism is in our neighbourhood: India

Shringla welcomed the growing interest among India’s European partners, including Germany, to intensify their engagement in the Indo-Pacific region.

Statesman News Service | New Delhi |

In a clear indictment of Pakistan for its continued support to terrorism, India today said that the recent teror-related incident in Texas, United States, once again demonstrated that the international network of terror, with its epicenter in India’s neighbourhood, was very much active and has long lasting implications.

“This (terrorism) is a global threat that requires an unambiguous, undivided, effective and collective response. Just two days ago, India reiterated its position when it conveyed that any attack on innocent civilians and civilian infrastructure was completely unacceptable; would be in blatant violation of international law; and against all civilised norms,” Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla said at a symposium on “Potential for Indo-European/German cooperation in the Indo-Pacific”, organised by ORF-NMF-KAS.

In the Texas incident, one person, Malik Faisal Akram, took hostages during services at a synagogue and demanded the release of a Pakistani woman Aafia Siddiqui, an al-Qaeda operative who was convicted of trying to kill US Army officers in Afghanistan. Akram’s own links with Pakistan are being probed.

Shringla said counter-terrorism was one key area of cooperation between India and its strategic partners. “Failure to cooperate can only embolden terrorists towards more audacity. You would recall the horrific 26/11 Mumbai terrorist attack in which Indian, German and other nationals had lost their lives,” he pointed out.

Against the backdrop of China’s continued aggressive stand on maritime issues, he said India saw the Indo-Pacific as a free, open, inclusive region, which embraced all in a common pursuit of progress and prosperity. “Our Prime Minister has encapsulated this vision in one term- SAGAR, which stands for Security and Growth for All in the Region. The term SAGAR itself means “Ocean” in several Indian languages,” he added.

The Indian diplomat said India believed that the common prosperity and security of all required evolving through dialogue, a common rules-based order for the region. “Such an order must respect the sovereignty and territorial integrity, as well as equality of all nations. Such an order should enable all countries to use common spaces on sea and in the air, engage in unimpeded commerce, and peacefully settle disputes in accordance with international law” he added.

Shringla welcomed the growing interest among India’s European partners, including Germany, to intensify their engagement in the Indo-Pacific region. “We are happy to note the commitment of the new coalition government in Germany for a free and open Indo-Pacific region based on global norms and international law. The priorities identified in Germany’s guidelines on the Indo-Pacific, particularly strengthening multilateralism, the rule of law and democracy, climate protection, trade and digitalisation, closely match with our interests,” he added.