"BU DHABI: External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on Friday raised the issue of terrorism at the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) meeting and said the menace is caused by "distortion of religion" and "misguided belief".
Swaraj, who attended the inaugural plenary of the two-day meeting here as the guest of honour, said the fight against terrorism is not a confrontation against any religion.
"It cannot be," she said.
History is made!— Raveesh Kumar (@MEAIndia) March 1, 2019
EAM @SushmaSwaraj concluded her address at the Inaugural Session as ‘Guest of Honour’ at Council of Foreign Ministers of @OIC_OCI - first time by India : I come from land of Mahatma Gandhi, where every prayer ends with the call for Shanti or Peace for all. pic.twitter.com/ntyC32y5Fa
Swaraj's did not name Pakistan in the address.
"Just as Islam literally means peace, none of the 99 names of Allah mean violence. Similarly, every religion in the world stands for peace, compassion, and brotherhood," Swaraj told the 57-member powerful grouping.
She concluded by saying: "I come from land of Mahatma Gandhi, where every prayer ends with the call for Shanti or Peace for all."
Her remarks came amid heightened tensions between India and Pakistan following the February 14 terror attack on Pulwama by Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammed that left 40 CRPF personnel dead.
It is for the first time that India has been invited to a meeting of the OIC, an influential grouping of 57 Islamic countries, as the guest of honour.
Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi did not attend the meeting over the failure of the grouping to rescind the invitation to Swaraj.
"Terrorism and extremism bear different names and labels. It uses diverse causes. But in each case, it is driven by distortion of religion, and a misguided belief in its power to succeed," she told the leaders of the major Muslim countries.