Delivering his first pre-Independence Day speech to the nation, President Pranab Mukherjee on Tuesday said that the regional grouping of SAARC should be used as a major instrument in the common war against terrorists.
The nation's 13th President said: "The SAARC should be a major instrument in the common war against terrorists. Great success is possible by international cooperation. All SAARC nations must cooperate to bring to justice those who believe in mayhem against innocents. There is no other way towards peace on the subcontinent."
Expressing his pride in Indian armed forces and police force, of which he is the supreme commander, he said: " I am proud of our brave armed forces and our valiant police forces, who have done so much, at such great personal risk, to curb this menace of terrorism."
"It is their vigilance which has prevented more havoc. If we sleep in peace, it is because they are awake and vigilant in the desolation of desert and mountain and forest and in the vast loneliness of the seas," said Mukherjee.
He also called on SAARC to acquire more vigour to fulfill its mandate of finding solutions through dialogue, and by mutual cooperation to create the rapid economic growth that is the only long-term answer to problems like migration and uneven development.
He also expressed his pain over the violence in Assam.
"Our minorities need solace, understanding and protection from aggression. Violence is not an option violence is an invitation to greater violence. Concrete attempts have been made to heal the wounds of Assam, including the Assam Accord conceived by our young and beloved former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi." Mukherjee said.
"We should revisit them, and adapt them to present conditions in the spirit of justice and national interest. We need peace for a new economic surge that eliminates the competitive causes of violence," the President added.