Need a united answer to terrorism, can’t wait for UN to take lead: Akbar

New Delhi: India on Friday strongly pitched for united action against the menace of terrorism and asserted that shared prosperity is virtually impossible without shared security.
Minister of State for External Affairs M J Akbar also said that economic growth needs stability and peace.

“Shared prosperity is virtually impossible without shared security…The principal security threat which exists in Africa and our region is terrorism,” he said at the CII-Exim Bank Conclave on India Africa Project Partnership here.

“We have to find a united answer to a menace which is as dangerous to any country represented in this room as it is to us. We have to understand that we cannot compromise with this evil and if we do so, we compromise at the risk of committing huge amount of self-harm, almost suicidal,” he added.

Akbar said that there is no good or bad terrorism and both India and Africa have to unite to fight this together.

“We cannot wait for important multi-lateral institutions like the United Nations (UN) to take the lead,” he said.

The minister said that for the last 20 years, the UN has not been able to find the definition of terrorism.

“If you cannot define the enemy, how can you fight the enemy. But if the UN cannot do it, it does not stop us from doing it ourselves by doing bilaterally and this is something that we need to do,” he said.
“Trust me, we underestimate the peril at our own cost and perhaps I really do not need to say more than this…The facts on the ground will persuade you,” he added.

Further talking about increasing economic cooperation, he said Prime Minister Narendra Modi had made a commitment of USD 10 billion worth of LoCs (line of credits) to Africa between 2015 and 2020.

Of this, USD 1.1 billion of LoC projects have been approved this year which India would like to implement as soon as possible.

“We look forward to receive more LoC proposals. But we also look forward to a faster pace of achievement. The government cannot be of creating more sheets of paper. It has to be about creating opportunities and prosperity,” Akbar said.

He said that India can offer a lot to Africa in boosting manufacturing and industrial activities.

Research and development and innovation are the new areas where India and Africa should look deep to increase collaborations, he said, adding India can also help in adoption of digital economy.

For India-Africa sustainable growth, he said, there is a need for food and energy security.