State-spon­sored ter­ror­ism big­gest chal­lenge: HDD

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Bengaluru/Kathmandu: Ter­ror­ism is the big­gest stum­bling block to world peace, sta­bil­ity and progress and the mag­ni­tude of threat mul­ti­ply when it is state­spon­sored, for­mer Prime Min­is­ter H D Deve Gowda said on Satur­day.

Ad­dress­ing the Asia-Pa­cific Sum­mit-2018 here, he said that In­dia has been a vic­tim of state-spon­sored ter­ror­ism for a long time and em­pha­sised that ter­ror­ism or ter­ror groups should not be glo­ri­fied.

The four-day sum­mit, on the theme “Ad­dress­ing Crit­i­cal Chal­lenges of Our Time: In­de­pen­dence, Mu­tual Pros­per­ity and Universal Val­ues”, has been or­gan­ised by the South Korea-based Universal Peace Fed­er­a­tion and sup­ported by the Gov­ern­ment of Nepal.

The for­mer prime min­is­ter said that ter­ror­ism is the big­gest stum­bling block in the world peace, sta­bil­ity and progress and the mag­ni­tude of threat mul­ti­plies when ter­ror­ism is state-spon­sored.

“Ter­ror­ism has emerged as a big­gest chal­lenge in to­day’s world, which does not makes any dis­tinc­tion be­tween the bor­ders, gen­der or re­li­gions,” he said at the con­fer­ence be­ing at­tended by lead­ers from the Asia-Pa­cific re­gion, in­clud­ing In­dia, Cam­bo­dia, Myan­mar, Malaysia, Pak­istan and the Philip­pines.

“In the re­cent times, the world has be­come aware about the ter­ror­ism and steps have been taken in the re­cent times to break the net­work of ter­ror­fund­ing, but an in­ter­na­tional law on ter­ror­ism is to be made,” Gowda said.

“There is need for an in­ter­na­tional to check spread of ter­ror­ism. A pro­posal to make a law against ter­ror­ism is yet to be passed in the United Na­tions, as the mem­ber states have failed to reach a con­sen­sus on the def­i­ni­tion of ter­ror­ism,” he added.

For­mer Pak­istan Prime Min­is­ter Yusuf Raza Gi­lani, ad­dress­ing the sum­mit, said he agrees with what for­mer In­dian prime min­is­ter has said that “there is no good or bad ter­ror­ism.”

He claimed that Pak­istan is also af­fected by ter­ror­ism for a very long time, as many peo­ple came to his coun­try dur­ing the Afghan war as a refugee and were still liv­ing in the coun­try.

He said dur­ing his regime, ac­tion was taken against ter­ror­ism, as many in­no­cent peo­ple were killed in ter­ror at­tacks and also Pak­istan’s econ­omy was af­fected.

High­light­ing the im­por­tance of am­bi­tious China-Pak­istan Eco­nomic Cor­ri­dor (CPEC), he said this cor­ri­dor not ex­clu­sive which will in­crease con­nec­tiv­ity in the re­gion.

The USD 60 bil­lion CPEC is part of China’s multi-bil­lion­dol­lar Belt and Road Ini­tia­tive (BRI), launched by Chi­nese Pres­i­dent Xi Jin­ping when he came to power in 2013. It aims to link South­east Asia, Cen­tral Asia, the Gulf re­gion, Africa and Eu­rope with a net­work of land and sea routes.

In­dia is op­posed to the BRI as it passes through Pak­istanoc­cu­pied Kash­mir.

Gi­lani also al­leged that mis­in­for­ma­tion was be­ing spread about the CPEC in the re­gion when it is be­ing pro­moted as part of the projects like de­vel­op­ment of ports, es­tab­lish­ment of spe­cial eco­nomic zones and set­ting up of other ba­sic in­fra­struc­ture needed for de­vel­op­ment.

Mean­while, ad­dress­ing the sum­mit, Myan­mar’s spe­cial coun­sel­lor Aung San Suu Kyi, called for co­op­er­a­tion be­tween na­tions to seek peace and mu­tual pros­per­ity.

In her key­note ad­dress, she said, the world to­day is fac­ing the dan­gers of ter­ror­ism, poverty, nat­u­ral calamity, and con­flict.

“Only by pro­mot­ing a cul­ture of peace in this world of in­ter­de­pen­dence will it be pos­si­ble to cre­ate har­mony be­tween di­verse coun­tries and so­ci­eties,” she said.

“At the ba­sis of con­flict is ill­will which seeks to hurt and to de­stroy and thus to open the way to con­flict, which in turn spews out an ever-re­new­ing cy­cle of hate and fear, snuff­ing out the light of peace,” Suu Kyi, who is fac­ing in­ter­na­tional crit­i­cism for her al­leged in­ac­tion amidst the Ro­hingya refugee cri­sis in Myan­mar, said.

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