India today called for a “comprehensive” fight against terror groups like the Pakistan-based LeT and Taliban which have grown in its neighbourhood and the dreaded ISIS that is now emerging as a threat in the Gulf region.
Visiting External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj while voicing India’s concern over the growth of terrorism and radicalisation also said there is a need to develop a broader approach based on dialogue to shift from an atmosphere of “mistrust and violence” towards one which exudes confidence in peace and development.
The comments came days after the cancellation of the Indo-Pak NSA-level talks scheduled in New Delhi that would have presented India an opportunity for a bilateral dialogue on terrorism.
In an address to a select group of Egypt’s strategic thinkers and policy makers, Swaraj talked about the threat of ISIS in the Gulf region and that of Taliban and Lashkar-e-Taiba(LeT) in India’s neighbourhood.
“We are today witnessing growing violence and intolerance. The growth of extremism as represented by Al Qaeda and now ISIS in your region and that of Taliban, Laskhar-e-Toiba and others in our neighbourhood, are manifestations of this trend.
“We have to fight radicalisation and extremism, the threat of terrorism and the emergence of non-state actors who challenge the civilised world in a collective and comprehensive manner,” she said at the prestigious Diplomatic Club here.
Swaraj said India remained concerned about the growth of terrorism and of sectarian violence in the region and stands committed to support efforts to fight this.
“We also sense a need to develop a broader approach based on dialogue to shift from an atmosphere of mistrust and violence towards one which exudes confidence in peace and development.”
Swaraj said India not only condemns all acts of terrorism but joins hands with Egypt in the fight to remove the scourge of terrorism completely.
Swaraj, who held extensive talks with Egyptian leadership yesterday, proposed to step up exchange of information and coordination to combat terrorism, both at the regional as well as global level while elaborating on importance of closer security cooperation between India and Egypt.
“Our defence relationship, which is based on our traditional and friendly ties will be upgraded further to closer cooperation across the spectrum.
“At the multilateral level, we shall strengthen coordination with the League of Arab States, work closely through the India-Africa Forum Summit and further our outstanding cooperation at the UN and other multilateral bodies,” she said before winding up her first visit to Egypt.
Talking about the regional issues, she said the Iranian nuclear agreement can open up new vistas of cooperation and reduce frictions.
“India is a long-time friend of all the countries in the region and we have no major differences with any. We remain convinced that a new paradigm of peace, prosperity and stability will emerge.