‘State sponsorship of terrorism biggest threat’: PM Modi tells Maldives

In a veiled attack on Pakistan, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said Saturday that state sponsorship of terrorism is the biggest threat the humanity is facing today as he urged the world leaders to unite for combating the menace.

Addressing the Maldivian Parliament, the Majlis, Modi said that relations between India and Maldives are older than history.

“Today I want to emphasise that every Indian is with you for the strengthening of democracy in the Maldives,” he said.

Terrorism is not just a threat for a country but to the entire civilization, he said.

“The world community has organised conventions and meetings on global challenges like the climate change, now it should also come together on the issue of terrorism. It is time for a global conference on terrorism,” Modi said.

“It is very unfortunate that people are still making the mistake of distinguishing between good terrorists and bad terrorists.

“State sponsorship of terrorism is the biggest threat the world is facing today,” Modi said, in an apparent reference to Pakistan.

India in the past has blamed Pakistan for carrying out terrorist attacks in the country and asked it to stop supporting terror outfits operating from its soil.

“The water is now rising above the head,” Modi said as he urged the world leaders to unite for combating the menace.

“Combating terrorism and radicalisation is the most accurate test of the leadership in the world,” he said.

In support of freedom, democracy, prosperity and peace in the Maldives, India is standing side by side with the Maldives, Modi said.

“Today in Maldives, and in Majlis, I am very happy to be present among you. Majlis took the decision to invite me, in its first meeting after Mohamed Nasheed Ji became the speaker.

“Your gesture has touched the heart of every Indian and has enhanced their respect and dignity,” he said at Parliament.

“I am very happy that we have signed a deal on the ferry service between the two countries today,” Modi said.

Also read: India, Maldives ink 6 pacts as PM Narendra Modi, Prez Solih hold talks

Prime Minister Modi and President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih reaffirmed their “unequivocal and uncompromising position” against terrorism in all its forms and manifestations, both within the region and elsewhere, according to India-Maldives joint statement.

In recognition that the security interests of both countries are interlinked in the region, they reiterated their assurance of being mindful of each other’s concerns and aspirations for the stability of the region and not allowing their respective territories to be used for any activity inimical to the other, it said.

“The two leaders also agreed on the importance of maintaining peace and security in the Indian Ocean region, and to strengthen coordination in enhancing maritime security in the region, through coordinated patrolling and aerial surveillance, exchange of information, and capacity building,” the statement said.

Modi and Solih agreed to enhance bilateral cooperation on issues of common concern including piracy, terrorism, organised crime, drugs and human trafficking, it said.

They agreed to set up a joint working group on counter-terrorism, countering violent extremism and de-radicalisation, the statement added.

Modi arrived in the Maldives on Saturday on his first foreign visit after re-election as Prime Minister to strengthen the bilateral ties, reflecting the importance India attaches to its ‘Neighbourhood First’ policy.

First Published: Jun 08, 2019 20:49 IST

Updated: June 8, 2019 — 9:30 pm