UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres paid tributes to the victims of the 26/11 terror attacks at the Taj Mahal Palace hotel in Mumbai and said that terror is an absolute “evil” and no reason, pretext or grievance can justify the act of terrorism.
“Terror is absolute evil. There are no reasons, no pretext, no causes, and no grievances that can justify terrorism. terrorism is absolute evil. It has no room in today’s world,” Guterres said while addressing the presser at Taj Hotel.
UN Chief, who came to India on Wednesday, visited the Taj Hotel on Wednesday and laid a wreath in honor of all those who sacrificed their lives in the 26/11 Mumbai terror attack.
UN Chief further said, “I feel deeply moved to be here where one of the barbaric terrorist acts in history took place where 166 people lost their lives. I want to pay tribute to the victims they are heroes of all world and I want to express my deepest condolences to their families, to their friends, to the people of India, and to all those that are coming from other parts of the world that have lost their lives in Mumbai.”
He also said that “fighting terrorism must be a global priority for every country on earth and fighting terrorism is a central priority for the UN”.
Recalling his first reform, Guterres said that he made a proposal for the creation of the office of anti-terrorism, an office that exists today.
The office was created with the intention to cooperate with member states in order to provide the kind of systems and advice and training that is necessary for all countries to be prepared to be able to prevent and simultaneously fight against terrorist acts.
On November 26, 2008, 10 Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) terrorists arrived through sea and open fire, killing 166 people, including 18 security personnel, and injuring many during the three-day siege in Mumbai.
Though nine terrorists were killed by the security forces, then ATS Chief Hemant Karkare, Army Major Sandeep Unnikrishnan, Mumbai’s Additional Police Commissioner Ashok Kamte, and Senior Police Inspector Vijay Salaskar were among those killed in the attack.
Apart from Guterres, Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde and Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis also paid tribute to the victims of the 26/11 Mumbai terror attack.
All the leaders observe a moment of silence for the victims and those who sacrificed their lives in the 26/11 attack.
Guterres will be on an official visit to India from October 18-20, 2022. This will be UNSG’s first visit to India, since he commenced his second term in office in January 2022. He had earlier visited India (in his first term) from 01- 04 October 2018.”
“Warm welcome to the UNSG @antonioguterres as he arrives in Mumbai for his official visit to India from 18-20 October 2022,” tweeted Arindam Bagchi, Spokesperson of the Ministry of External Affairs.
UNSG will also deliver a public address at IIT Mumbai on the subject – “India @75: UN-India Partnership: Strengthening South-South Cooperation,” read the MEA press release.
On 20 October 2022 in Gujarat (Ekta Nagar, Kevadiya), he will join Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the launch of the Mission LiFE (Lifestyle for Environment) booklet, logo, and tagline.
External Affairs Minister (EAM) S Jaishankar would hold bilateral discussions with the UN chief on issues of global concern, steps to deepen India’s engagement with the UN, including through India’s upcoming Presidency of the G20 and reformed multilateralism, added the release.
In Kevadiya, Guterres is expected to pay floral tributes at the Statue of Unity. He will also be visiting India’s first solar-powered village in Modhera (Gujarat) and other development projects in the area.
UNSG will also be visiting the Sun Temple in Modhera, before departing for his onward destination.