Abu Dhabi: External Affairs Minister (EAM) Sushma Swaraj on Friday made a veiled attack on Pakistan saying humanity can only be saved if states stopped harbouring and funding terrorists. The EAM further said that states must dismantle the infrastructure of the terrorist camps functioning in their soil.

Speaking at the inaugural plenary session of Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) conclave in Abu Dhabi as a guest of honour, Swaraj said the fight against terrorism is not a confrontation against any religion as none of the 99 names of Allah suggest violence. Similarly, every religion in the world stands for peace, compassion and brotherhood.

She went on to add that terrorism is destroying lives, destabilising regions and putting the world at great peril. Swaraj said, “Terror reach is growing and the toll it is taking is increasing.” Stating that terrorism and extremism bore different names and labels, Swaraj added that terror is driven by distortion of religion, and a misguided belief in its power to succeed.

The EAM also said, “India has always embraced and found it easy to embrace pluralism since it is embedded in the oldest Sanskrit religious text The Rig Veda and I quote Ekam sat vipra bahudha vadhanti”, which means God is One but learned men describe him in many ways”.

Swaraj’s presence at the OIC conclave is in tandem with the efforts to strengthen relations with Arab and Muslim-majority countries. Prior to the beginning of the event, Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi said that he will not be attending Council of Foreign Ministers as a matter of principle for having extended invitation as a Guest of Honour to Sushma Swaraj.

An empty Pakistani chair was seen at the OIC as Guest of Honour Sushma Swaraj addressed the gathering.

On an earlier occasion, the UAE had said that India is being invited as a guest of honour to the OIC meet because of its great global political stature as well as its time-honoured and deeply rooted cultural and historical legacy and its important Islamic component.

The external affairs ministry described the invitation as a “welcome recognition of the presence of 185 million Muslims in India and of their contribution to its pluralistic ethos.”