Prosperity not possible until terrorism ends: V. K. Singh

Bangkok: Union Minister of State for External Affairs V. K. Singh on Monday said that the resolve to create a peaceful and prosperous community will fail unless all partners cooperate with each other to end the menace of terrorism.

Singh was speaking at the second Summit of the Asia Cooperation Dialogue (ACD) here. Formed in 2002, the ACD comprises 34 countries.

“All our resolve to create a peaceful prosperous community will fail unless we cooperate with each other to end this menace (of terrorism). We would be failing our people if we do not pledge to use all the mechanisms available to us bilaterally and multilaterally to rid us of this fundamental threat to our societies, communities and nations,” he said.

He said that terrorism continues to remain the single most significant threat to peace and stability in the region.

Singh stressed that the global fight against terrorism should not only seek to eliminate terrorists, terror organisations and networks, but also “identify, isolate and penalise the states that encourage support and finance terrorism, provide sanctuary to terrorists and terror groups”.

“There should be no glorification of terrorists and there is nothing called a ‘good terrorist’. There is an urgent need for measures to counter and prevent the spread of violent extremism and radical ideologies,” he said.

Singh noted that most of the ACD countries are facing a crises of slowing GDP growth, stagnating international trade and challenges of job creation.

“If the 21st century is to truly be an Asian century, if Asia is to emerge as the engine of world economic growth, our nations have to be far more interconnected than what we are.

“This connectivity has to begin at the sub-regional level, progress to the regional and then expand to link regions,” he said.

Singh pointed out that India has offered a billion US dollars to Asean countries for connectivity projects including digital connectivity.