MOBOR: Endorsing India's effort to corner Pakistan on terror, regional grouping BIMSTEC has said fight against the menace should not only be confined to disrupting and eliminating terror networks, but must also take strong measures against states supporting terrorists and falsely extolling their virtues. In an apparent reference to Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif calling slain Hizbul terrorist Burhan Wani a "martyr", BIMSTEC said there should not be glorification of terrorists as martyrs.
An Outcome Document detailing deliberations by leaders of Bangladesh, India, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Bhutan and Nepal at their retreat here last night, said they condemned in strongest terms the recent "barbaric terror" attacks in the region, seen as a reference to Pathankot and Uri strikes.
"We strongly believe that our fight against terrorism should not only seek to disrupt and eliminate terrorists, terror organisations and networks, but should also identify, hold accountable and take strong measures against states which encourage, support and finance terrorism, provide sanctuary to terrorists and terror groups, and falsely extol their virtues," the grouping said in the document issued today. It said the leaders stressed on urgent measures to counter terrorism. "There should be no glorification of terrorists as martyrs.
We recognize the need for urgent measures to counter and prevent the spread of terrorism, violent extremism and radicalization. We express our determination to take concrete measures to step up cooperation and coordination among our law enforcement, intelligence and security organisations," it said. India has been scaling up efforts to isolate Pakistan in the wake of the Uri attack. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, addressing BRICS and BIMSTEC summits here yesterday, called Pakistan a "mother ship" of global terrorism and said the menace has become its "favourite child".
The strong position of BIMSTEC in dealing with terror assumes significance as it comes after consensus eluded on reference to cross-border terror in BRICS declaration. "Recognising that terrorism continues to remain the single most significant threat to peace and stability in our region, we reiterate our strong commitment to combat terrorism in all its forms and manifestations, and stress that there can be no justification for acts of terror on any grounds whatsoever," BIMSTEC said.
It said the leaders expressed commitment to expedite the signing of the BIMSTEC Convention on Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters, and to early ratification of the BIMSTEC Convention on Cooperation in Combating International Terrorism, Transnational Organized Crime and Illicit Drug Trafficking.