AT THE NAM Summit Sunday, India slammed “one country” in its neighbourhood for scuttling its proposal to set up a working group on counter-terrorism within the Non-Aligned Movement. Earlier, most of the 104 members attending the Summit supported India’s call for a platform within the bloc for cooperation on terror. The final draft declaration at the end of day one of the 17th NAM Summit also vowed to combat terrorism.
To a question on a working group for terrorism within NAM, India’s permanent representative at the UN Syed Akbaruddin, without naming Pakistan, said, “Our idea was to highlight terrorism as a growing challenge to the whole world. Because most of the victims of terrorism are members of NAM… we felt it will be useful to have a platform for NAM countries to cooperate and we must say that we were extremely satisfied with the sort of response we got because there were countries from not only Asia… all the neighbouring countries, bar a few exception, were in full support. Several African and Latin American countries also articulated that they would want this… On the other hand, there was one country in our neighbourhood who did not allow consensus to be reached on the matter.”
NAM rules call for consensus to arrive at decisions, Akbaruddin pointed out. “… That said, we have been able to get references to terrorism (put in the declaration) which are purely and largely language suggested by India,” he told reporters.
The final draft declaration, to be adopted as the Margarita Declaration, calls for decisive and coordinated action to prevent and combat financing and illicit transfer of weapons, while calling terrorism one of the most serious threats to international peace and security.
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Condemning terrorist acts in all forms and manifestations, the declaration said these could be attacks directed at “destruction of cultural heritage and religious sites, as well as the commission of crimes against humanity by terrorist groups, among others, on the basis of their religion or beliefs”.
About India’s push for reforms in the structure of the UN, an issue raised by Vice-President Hamid Ansari earlier in the day, Akbaruddin said the Security Council ought to reflect the realities of today.
Pakistan raises Kashmir
Continuing with its efforts to internationalise the Kashmir issue, Pakistan Sunday raised the matter here at the NAM Summit, saying the 120-nation group should be “outraged” by the “horrific” situation there. Aziz, the Pakistan delegation head, said peace in South Asia cannot be achieved without the settlement of the issue of J&K in accordance with resolutions of the UN Security Council.