Countries supporting terrorism have to be isolated: Modi in Berlin

  • Prasun Sonwalkar, Hindustan Times, Berlin
  • Updated: Apr 15, 2015 01:35 IST

The international community should speak in one voice and focus collectively to isolate countries that back terrorism, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said in Berlin on Tuesday in an apparent reference to Pakistan which freed 26/11 Mumbai attack mastermind Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi last week.

Speaking to newspersons at the end of his two-day visit to Germany, Modi said terrorism should be dealt with as much sensitivity as the issue of nuclear weapons. Germany and India had a common approach towards terrorism, he said.

"We need to work on how we can stop sources from where the weapons are supplied. How we can put pressure on the countries where governments provide shelter to terrorists...We need to isolate such countries and governments," Modi said.

German chancellor Angela Merkel said her country had a lot of common ground with India on Afghanistan, terrorism and other global challenges.

"Terrorism is a challenge to the whole world...This issue should be dealt with as sensitively as nuclear proliferation," the PM said.

Modi's remarks came four days after a Pakistan court released Lashkar-e-Toiba operations commander Lakhvi, which evoked a sharp reaction and concern from several countries including the US, France and Israel. India said the development "eroded" the value of Pakistan's commitment to tackle terror.

The Prime Minister said the United Nations should pass a resolution in its 70th anniversary to define terrorism and justice should be done to India by making it a member of the UN Security Council, given New Delhi's long record of peace and contribution to peace-keeping forces and sacrifices made by Indian soldiers during the World War I.

Merkel also said she would help restart talks between India and the European Union on a free trade agreement, but said both sides needed to come forward 'to overcome the last hurdle'. India's views needed to be accommodated, she added. German companies were ready to take forward India's development under the Make in India initiative, she said.

After the bilateral talks, Modi visited the Berlin Central train station as part of his vision to improve railway stations and the rail network in India and said he was looking forward to Merkel's visit to India in October. He later left for Ottawa on the third leg of his visits to France, Germany and Canada.

In his initial remarks at the press interaction, Modi said, "The spread of terrorism is growing and its character is changing. The threat is coming close to us across every region of the world. We need a comprehensive global strategy to deal with this global challenge, in which India and Germany can work together."

Merkel also said the two countries agreed to fight against terrorism collectively, describing it as a global challenge.

In the coming days, maritime cyber and space security would be a matter of concern to everyone and the two countries should increase the cooperation in this area as well, Modi said.

He also talked about instability and violence in West Asia, saying it "affects the security of our citizens at home".

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