Says Countries Using Terrorism As Political Tool' Must Understand That It Is Equally Big Threat For Them
United Nations: Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Saturday that countries with "regressive thinking" that are using terrorism as a "political tool" must understand that it is an equally big threat for them also, in a veiled attack on Pakistan which is often accused by its neighbours of providing safe havens to terrorists.
Addressing the 76th UN General Assembly here, Prime Minister Modi also said that in order to strengthen the rules-based world order, the international community must speak in unison, in an apparent reference to China which is flexing its military muscles in the Indo-Pacific.
Noting that the world is facing an increased threat of regressive thinking and extremism, Modi said countries that are using terrorism as a political tool have to understand that terrorism is an equally big threat to them.
"It is absolutely essential to ensure that Afghanistan's territory is not used to spread terrorism and for terrorist activities, he said. We also need to ensure that no country tries to take advantage of the delicate situation in Afghanistan and use it for its own selfish interests.
Pakistan's neighbours, including Afghanistan and India, and the US have long accused Islamabad of providing safe haven and support to militants, a charge denied by it.
Modi said that oceans are also a shared heritage.
"Our oceans are also the lifeline of international trade. We must protect them from the race for expansion. The international community must speak in one voice to strengthen a rule-based world order, he added.
Speaking in Hindi, Modi said that the broad consensus reached in the UN Security Council during India's presidency in August showed to the world the way forward for maritime security.
India, the US and several other world powers have been talking about the need to ensure a free, open and thriving Indo-Pacific in the backdrop of China's rising military manoeuvring in the resource-rich region.
China claims nearly all of the disputed South China Sea, though Taiwan, the Philippines, Brunei, Malaysia and Vietnam all claim parts of it. Beijing has built artificial islands and military installations in the South China Sea. China also has territorial disputes with Japan in the East China Sea.
A day earlier, the Quad countries -- comprising India, Japan, Australia and the US - pledged to ensure a "free and open" Indo-Pacific, which is also "inclusive and resilient", as they noted that the strategically vital region is a bedrock of their shared security and prosperity.
"We stand for the rule of law, freedom of navigation and overflight, peaceful resolution of disputes, democratic values, and territorial integrity of states. We commit to work together and with a range of partners, the Quad leaders said in a joint statement after their first in-person meeting hosted by US President Joe Biden and attended by Prime Minister Modi, his Australian counterpart Scott Morrison and Japanese premier Yoshihide Suga at the White House.
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