Vice-President Hamid Ansari on Tuesday condemned Pakistan’s “use of terror groups as part of foreign policy” while speaking at a counter-terrorism conference, organised by BJP general secretary Ram Madhav-backed India Foundation. “Pakistan’s use of terror groups as part of foreign policy is well documented…. Pakistan military has reared good terrorists for cross-border missions while battling bad ones that fail to toe its line,” Ansari said.
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Highlighting the “fragility of institutions” of new political systems in the Indian Ocean region, Ansari appealed to the international community to isolate nations using terrorists as part of their foreign policy. “States sponsoring terror must be isolated and forced to abandon use of terrorism as a tool of state policy,” he said.
He added that the most virulent factor fuelling terrorism was state sponsorship of and collusion with terrorists and a case in point was Pakistan’s use of extremist groups.
“The number of terrorist groups proliferated in the 19th and 20th centuries and this trend continues today. A Google search produces a list of 38 non-state right-wing and left-wing groups accused of terrorism from 1978 to 2003…. More names can be added to it today,” Ansari said.
“Modern weapons and easy access to lethal devices have added to the efficacy of terror tactics, so has globalisation and information technology,” he said. “Modern terrorism is global in its dimensions. Our focus in today’s conclave, however, is on one aspect of it — the Indian Ocean rim having 26 littoral states and home to some 2.3 billion people. It has emerged as one of the most dynamic regions of the world….”
Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe called for cooperation between the region’s countries to combat terrorism. He attended the conference via Skype. Nepal’s deputy Prime Minister Bimalendra Nidhi said his country had not allowed its soil to be used for terrorism.
Railway minister Suresh Prabhu also condemned use of terrorism as state policy.