Terming terrorism as the “mother of all disruptions”, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj said on Wednesday that the menace was even more dangerous when actively supported and sponsored by states, in an apparent reference to Pakistan. Addressing the the geo-political conference ‘Raisina Dialogue’ at New Delhi, Swaraj said ensuring zero-tolerance towards terrorism was a must.
The menace of terrorism can threaten societies everywhere and the challenge is even more serious in a digital age, with greater propensity for radicalisation, she said. Terrorism, the “mother of all disruptions”, and nuclear proliferation cannot be addressed effectively in a segmented manner, she said. “What is even more dangerous is terrorism from governed spaces; in fact, terrorism actively supported and sponsored by states,” Swaraj said, without naming Pakistan. She said it would be wrong to expect that fanaticism, crime, bloodshed and illegal trade will not have a corrosive impact beyond its intended arena.
“Nor will it spare its originators and practitioners. Ensuring zero-tolerance towards terrorism is the call of the day,” the minister said. The Third Raisina Dialogue, which was inaugurated yesterday by visiting Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, is organised by the Ministry of External Affairs and the Observer Research Foundation. The attitude towards terrorism has evolved in the last few decades, Swaraj opined.
“There was a time when it was seen as other people’s problem or a law and order situation. Not just that, it was also actively utilised as an instrument of statecraft. That time has long gone by,” she said. Swaraj said many contemporary developments have their roots in “longstanding proliferation linkages that the world deliberately chose to overlook”.
“Like terrorism, nuclear proliferation cannot be addressed effectively in a segmented manner. Fuller disclosure and greater accountability are a must,” Swaraj said. Swaraj also talked about the importance of connectivity, saying that, while the focus in the past was essentially on comparative advantage and market access, there is now a growing realisation about the critical importance of connectivity.
In an oblique reference to China’s One Belt One Road initiative, Swaraj said the role of multilateral institutions in building connectivity is also important. “Again, establishing and implementing global norms in this regard is of utmost priority,” she said. Swaraj also highlighted the crucial connectivity projects undertaken by India, including the Chabahar Port and air corridor for Afghanistan, the Trilateral Highway cutting through India, Myanmar and Thailand and the International North-South Corridor.