Male: Addressing the Maldivian Parliament, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday said that the state sponsorship of terrorism poses a huge threat to humanity. He further urged the world leaders to unite for combating the menace.

In a veiled attack on Pakistan, Modi said, “State sponsorship of terrorism is the biggest threat the world is facing today.” He added that terrorism was not just a threat to a country but to the entire civilisation. “The world community has organised conventions and meetings on global challenges like climate change, now it should also come together on the issue of terrorism. It is time for a global conference on terrorism,” said Prime Minister Modi. He noted, “It is very unfortunate that people are still making the mistake of distinguishing between good terrorists and bad terrorists.”

India in the past has blamed Pakistan for carrying out terrorist attacks in the country and asked it to stop supporting terror outfits operating from its soil. “The water is now rising above the head,” stated Modi adding that “Combating terrorism and radicalisation is the most accurate test of the leadership in the world.”

In support of freedom, democracy, prosperity and peace in the Maldives, India is standing side by side with the Maldives, asserted Modi. “Today in the Maldives, and in Majlis, I am very happy to be present among you. Majlis took the decision to invite me, in its first meeting after Mohamed Nasheed Ji became the speaker,” said the Prime Minister. At the Maldivian Parliament, Modi added, “Your gesture has touched the heart of every Indian and has enhanced their respect and dignity.”

Modi reinstated that relations between India and Maldives are older than history. At the People’s Majlis in Male, he said, “Today I want to emphasise that every Indian was with you for the strengthening of democracy in the Maldives.”

“I am very happy that we have signed a deal on the ferry service between the two countries today,” Modi said. As per the India-Maldives joint statement, Prime Minister Modi and President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih reaffirmed their “unequivocal and uncompromising position” against terrorism in all its forms and manifestations, both within the region and elsewhere. Both the leaders reportedly reiterated their assurance of being mindful of each other’s concerns and aspirations for the stability of the region and not allowing their respective territories to be used for any activity inimical to the other.

A mutual understanding was reached by the leaders of both the nations in recognition of their security interests interlinked in the region. The joint statement added, “The two leaders also agreed on the importance of maintaining peace and security in the Indian Ocean region, and to strengthen coordination in enhancing maritime security in the region, through coordinated patrolling and aerial surveillance, exchange of information, and capacity building.”

Notably, Modi arrived in the Maldives on Saturday on his first foreign visit after re-election as Prime Minister to strengthen the bilateral ties, reflecting the importance India attaches to its ‘Neighbourhood First’ policy.

(With agency inputs)