New York, Sept 21: External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, while speaking at the BRICS’ ministerial meet on sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), launched a veiled attack on Pakistan, implicitly accusing it of sustaining and harbouring terrorists.
“Terror groups draw sustenance from support systems in South Asia. They continue to find support and shelter in countries which use terrorism as an instrument of state policy,” Swaraj said, while speaking on the threat posed by radicalised militant groups in the region.
Swaraj appealed her counterparts in the BRICS to push for the early adoption of the Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism (CCIT), which India had proposed before the UN back in 1996.
“I hope we can work together to give this ambitious agenda practical shape in coming months,” she added.
In another apparent remark against Pakistan, the EAM, in her speech said those states which support extremism in the name of religion should be identified and isolated. Her reference was Islamabad, which has been supporting the jihadist separatist movement in the Indian state of Jammu & Kashmir.
“We must condemn efforts, including by states, to use religion to justify, sustain and sponsor terrorism against other countries,” she was quoted as saying in her address.
The remarks of Swaraj at the BRICS’ foreign ministers’ meet comes days after the five-nation grouping, which includes China, named Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Taiba and Jaish-e-Muhammad as threat to the region in its Xiamen declaration.
India’s stand against terrorism was also reiterated by the External Affairs Minister during her meet earlier in the day with the counterparts of Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO).
“India strongly condemns terrorism in all its forms and manifestations. There can be no justification for any acts of terrorism,” she was reported as saying.
Swaraj called for a joint effort to dismantle terrorist networks, their financing and movement. The need of the hour, the Indian EAM stressed, is to systematically cutoff terror funding, supply of weapons and political support extended to the extremists.