Advocating outright rejection of state-sponsored terrorism, India today said it is vital to construct a strong international legal regime on the principle of "zero tolerance" for terrorism and isolate those who harbour, support or sponsor terrorists.
Advocating outright rejection of state-sponsored terrorism, India today said it is vital to construct a strong international legal regime on the principle of “zero tolerance” for terrorism and isolate those who harbour, support or sponsor terrorists. “Countering terrorism is an imperative, in the face of rising terrorist attacks across the globe, including in our region, notably in Jakarta, Bangkok, Pathankot, Dhaka and Kabul in recent times,” Minister of State for External Affairs V K Singh said at the 14th ASEAN-India Foreign Ministers’ Meeting in Vientiane, Lao People’s Democratic Republic. “It is vital to construct a strong international legal regime, built on the principle of ‘zero tolerance’ for direct or indirect support to terrorism, adopting an ‘extradite or prosecute’ standard and ensuring obligatory collaboration by countries in the investigation of terrorism related cases,” he said. Singh asserted that deepening of security cooperation must be based on an “outright rejection” of state-sponsored terrorism, isolating those who harbour, support or sponsor terrorists and bringing the perpetrators, organisers, financiers and sponsors of terror to speedy justice. Noting that today’s realities warrant that nations act for urgent finalisation of the Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism at the UN, he called on ASEAN countries to support its early adoption.
Singh said India would also like to host an ASEAN-India Conference on preventing radicalisation and promoting de-radicalisation, to share India’s experience and benefit from the experience of ASEAN countries, notably Malaysia, in this important area. In addition, India will co-cost with Indonesia, an ASEAN Regional Forum inter-sessional meeting on counter-terrorism, he said. “Politico-security cooperation between ASEAN and India is on the upswing. Reflecting our commitment to strengthen cooperation to effectively deal with traditional and non-traditional security challenges, the first G-2-G ASEAN-India Cyber Dialogue would be held in India in August 2016,” he noted. “We have also offered ASEAN countries a ‘specialised programme’ on reducing cyber crime through knowledge exchange and capacity building” and a seminar on “e-governance”, as joint activities under information and communications technology cooperation, Singh said.
He stressed that India’s relationship with ASEAN is one of the cornerstones of its foreign policy and the foundation of the ‘Act East Policy’. “We look forward to working closely with you to realise the full potential of our relationship as an enabler for the shared progress and development of our countries and region,” Singh, who also attended the seventh Mekong Ganga Cooperation Ministerial Meeting here, said. Mekong Ganga Cooperation member states, including India, have strongly pitched for ASEAN integration and increased connectivity to help narrow the development gap and called for collaboration with a “sense of urgency”.