PM Narendra Modi asks international community to stand united against terrorism

Published: Sep 28, 2019, 07:23 IST | Agencies | United Nations

Narendra Modi described it as one of the biggest challenges for the entire world

PM Narendra Modi addresses the United Nations General Assembly at UN headquarters. Pics /AFP
PM Narendra Modi addresses the United Nations General Assembly at UN headquarters. Pics /AFP

United Nations: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday exhorted the international community to stand united against terrorism, which he described as one of the biggest challenges not for a single country, but for the entire world. Addressing the 74th session of the UN General Assembly, Modi lamented the lack of unanimity amongst member states on the issue of terrorism.

"We believe, that this is one of the biggest challenges, not for any single country, but for the entire world and humanity," Modi said speaking in Hindi. India had proposed a draft document in 1996 on the 'Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism' (CCIT) at the General Assembly but it remained a blueprint as the member states were unable to reach a consensus. The CCIT intends to criminalise all forms of terrorism and deny terrorists, their financiers and supporters access to funds, arms and safe havens. "The lack of unanimity amongst us on the issue of terrorism, dents those very principles, that are the basis for the creation of the UN," PM Modi rued. Noting that India is a country that has given the world, not war, but Buddha, Buddha's message of peace, Modi said, "And that is the reason why, our voice against terrorism, to alert the world about this evil, rings with seriousness and the outrage."

"And that is why, for the sake of humanity, I firmly believe, that it is absolutely imperative, that the world unites against terrorism, and that the world stands as one against terrorism," he asserted. He said the largest number of supreme sacrifices made by soldiers of any country for UN peacekeeping missions is from India. At least 160 Indian peacekeepers have paid the ultimate price. Modi said the world is celebrating the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi, whose message of truth and non-violence is "very relevant for us even today, for peace, development and progress in the world."

US wants India to ease restrictions

United Nations: The US hopes to see "rapid action" by India to lift restrictions imposed in Kashmir and release of those detained, a senior official has said, a day after President Donald Trump offered to mediate between India and Pakistan to ease their tensions.

Alice Wells, the top State Department official for South Asia, made the comments on Thursday after President Trump held separate talks with PM Narendra Modi and Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan on the sidelines of the UNGA. "I think we are interested in knowing the next steps in engagement and encouraging that political dialogue to begin, in which we'll also in the next. We hope to see rapid action in the lifting of the restrictions and in the release of those who have been detained," she said, apparently referring to Modi's address to the nation on August 8. The US also asked Pakistan to prosecute terrorists like Hafiz Saeed and Masood Azhar, saying the reduction of Indo-Pak tensions would depend on Islamabad's seriousness in taking action against those who engage in "cross-border infiltration".

Imran Khan's rhetoric in contrast

Imran Khan
Imran Khan

Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan on Friday raised the Kashmir issue in his maiden address to the UNGA and demanded that India must lift the "inhuman curfew"in Kashmir and release all detainees.

In his marathon speech, Khan also warned that if there's face-off between two nuclear-armed neighbours, the consequences would be far beyond their borders.'

Khan's war rhetoric was in sharp contrast to PM Modi's peace message from the same podium.

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