STATE TIMES NEWSNew Delhi: Accusing Pakistan of becoming the “architect and exporter” of terrorism, Minister of State for External affairs V Muraleedharan on Wednesday said India has made “abundantly clear” to its neighbours that it will no longer remain a silent witness to terror attacks on it and would take resolute steps. Without naming Pakistan, the Union Minister said one of our “neighbouring country” has willingly “embraced” terrorism as a defining feature of its regional engagement. “India’s equivocal rejection of terrorism has led us to fine tune our policy towards countries that deploy terrorism as a tool of their foreign policy. We have made it abundantly clear that new India will no longer remain a silent witness to repetitive attacks of terror on its soil,” he said. Addressing the 12th South Asia Conference on “India’s Neighbourhood first policy: Regional perceptions” at the IDSA, a defence and security think tank, he said,”we have also demonstrated that while we are land of ‘ahimsa’ (non-violence), patience and reverence, we will take resolute measures to protect our people”, in an apparent reference to Balakot strike on terror pads in Pakistan in 2019. Asserting that there is no country in the region which has not faced challenges of terrorism leading to the loss of innumerable lives, the minister said however, there is “only one country, which has willingly embraced terrorism as a defining feature of its regional engagement”. “It (Pakistan) has become its epicentre, architect and exporter. Radicalisation is an integral ingredient of terrorism, it knows no boundaries and doesn’t recognise nationalities. In that sense radicalisation, one of major causes of terrorism, is growing in our region and we must all join hands against it,” he added. Referring to increasing terror threats to India, Muraleedharan said New Delhi has tried to escalate this at international level as also include the agenda under its neighbourhood first policy engagement. “This cooperation becomes most useful, effective and critical, particularly when the challenges faced are regional and at times global. It is at such critical time that vested interest attempts to ensure that manifestation of response remains weak and local. Such threats tend to exploit cleavages and cracks across boundaries and within societies, often at the cost of human lives and prosperity,” he added. Elaborating on India’s ‘neighbourhood first policy’, the minister said the Prime Minister has always emphasised that India’s neighbourhood is most critical for country’s future and the world. India’s relationship with its neighbours is collectively most important component of India’s foreign policy, he said, adding the policy covers 5C’s, including collective cooperation, capacity-building and connectivity.
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