PM for new rule-based re­gional se­cu­rity set-up

The Free Press Journal - - FRONT PAGE - MANASH P. BHUYAN

Prime Min­is­ter Naren­dra Modi on Tues­day strongly pitched for set­ting up of a rules-based re­gional se­cu­rity ar­chi­tec­ture in the Indo-Pa­cific re­gion, in a clear dis­play of con­ver­gence of strate­gic in­ter­ests among ma­jor pow­ers and In­dia, and send­ing a sub­tle mes­sage to China against its mil­i­tary as­sertive­ness in the area.

In his ad­dress at the ASEAN-In­dia and East Asia sum­mits, Prime Min­is­ter Modi also iden­ti­fied ter­ror­ism and ex­trem­ism, in­clud­ing cross­bor­der ter­ror­ism, as the ma­jor chal­lenge fac­ing the re­gion and said time has come for all the coun­tries to join hands to col­lec­tively deal with it.

The suc­cess of the prime min­is­ter’s can­vass­ing can be gauged from the fact that the East Asia Sum­mit has adopted sep­a­rate dec­la­ra­tions on coun­ter­ing ter­ror fi­nanc­ing and ef­fec­tively deal­ing with the ter­ror­ist nar­ra­tives in the re­gion.

Modi talked about need for united ap­proach to con­tain ter­ror­ism and rad­i­cal­i­sa­tion in the re­gion, as­serted In­dia's long-held po­si­tion on free­dom of nav­i­ga­tion and over­head flights in the Indo-Pa­cific, called for an ir­re­versible de­nu­cle­ari­sa­tion of the Korean penin­sula and sought a de­tailed probe into North Korea's nu­clear pro­lif­er­a­tion link­ages.

"In­dia as­sures the ASEAN of its steady sup­port to­wards achiev­ing a rules-based re­gional se­cu­rity ar­chi­tec­ture that best at­tests to the re­gion’s in­ter­ests and its peace­ful de­vel­op­ment," Modi told lead­ers of 10 South East Asian coun­tries.

His com­ment is seen as In­dia's readi­ness in play­ing a ma­jor role in the broader re­gional se­cu­rity frame­work along with the US, Ja­pan and Aus­tralia, which are giv­ing shape to a quadri­lat­eral se­cu­rity coali­tion, amid grow­ing con­cerns among the ASEAN and other play­ers over China’s mil­i­tary ma­noeu­vring in the Indo-Pa­cific. On the threats faced by the re­gion by ter­ror­ism, in­clud­ing cross-bor­der ter­ror­ism, Modi said time has come for all the coun­tries to join hands to col­lec­tively deal with it. "We have in­di­vid­u­ally strived very hard to fight ter­ror­ism and vi­o­lent ex­trem­ism. It is time that we jointly ad­dress this chal­lenge by in­ten­si­fy­ing co­op­er­a­tion in this cru­cial area," he said.

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