Vajpayee Proposes 4-point Strategy To Fight Terrorism

New York, September 23: | Updated: Sep 24 2003, 05:30am hrs
Ahead of his address to the UN General Assembly, Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee has mooted a four-point, long-term strategy to combat terrorism with a concert of democracies acting in cohesion and considering threat against one as a threat against all.

Rejecting the concept of double standards in dealing with terrorism, Mr Vajpayee asked the international community not to condone ambiguous positions on terror and promote the ideals of freedom, democracy, rule of law and tolerance which are our defining strengths.

Describing New Delhis growing partnership with Washington as an important element in its efforts for a dynamic and co-operative multipolar world order, he said the two countries must ensure that long-term perspectives of their bilateral engagement is not diluted by short-term exigencies. There may be differences on issues and disagreements on approaches, but conflict and confrontation do not overshadow the relations among great and emerging powers, he said speaking on Indo-US relations in the emerging global environment at the Asia Society here Monday evening.

Pointing out that the end of the Cold War has encouraged hopes of a rare era in history when international relations would no longer be defined by great power rivalries, he said there might be differences on issues and disagreements on appro-aches, but conflict and confrontation should not overshadow the relations among great and emerging powers. There are debates on whether the international order will be unipolar or multipolar. There are questions about the balance between national interests and international responsibility; about national sovereignty and international obligations. These debates are inevitable, since we are still in the process of shaping the contours of the post-Cold War era.

His suggestions on anti-terror efforts assume significance in the context of his meeting with US president George Bush on Wednesday during which terrorism will top the agenda.

Observing that the post-Cold War era has seen a significant proliferation of weapons mass destruction and their delivery systems, he said the threat of their falling into terrorists hands looms large. The existing regimes for non-proliferation rigorously audit the performance of responsible states, but do not touch the proliferators. An honest re-appraisal is required.

Pointing out that Iraq and Afghanistan are the two immediate test cases of the international efforts to build a world order based on cooperation and partnership, he said, in both cases the way the world addresses these challenges will have far-reaching implications for the common future.

In Iraq we have to develop an international consensus, which accelerates the political, economic and security transformation in that country.

In Afghanistan, we need to complete the work commenced by the Bonn process, and help its government to completely wipe out the remnants of the Taliban, to establish full control over the entire country and to progress as scheduled towards national elections.

The future of Iraq and Afghanistan is vital for their citizens but will equally have far-reaching implications for the region and for the world, the Prime Minister said.m Another dominant theme in todays world is the interdependence of nations, accentuated by technological changes and economic inter-linkages.

Globalisation has touched every sphere of activity, he said. (Agencies)