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'Don't link terror to religion or region'

Terrorism is a global phenomenon and has to be tackled globally, says India's ambassador to the US.

world Updated: Mar 13, 2007 13:05 IST

Warning that to look at terrorism through blinkers of any particular religion, region or any cause like poverty will be a "dangerous delusion", India has favoured global action to tackle the menace of which it has been the "world's biggest victim".

In an obvious reference to Pakistan, India's ambassador to the US Ronen Sen said India was "adjacent" to the "biggest source and destination of proliferation of weapons of mass destruction" and also to the "largest concentration of terrorists".

The worst case scenario for India is the volatile mix of the two, he said at a panel discussion on Israel's deepening relations with New Delhi and Turkey under the aegis of the American Israeli Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) here.

"Terrorism is a hydra headed monster. It is global. To look at it through blinkers of any particular religion, any particular region or any particular so-called cause would be not only dangerous but also a dangerous delusion because this is a phenomenon which is global and has to be tackled globally," Sen said.

He also rejected the notion of terrorism being associated with poverty. "That is an argument we don't buy," he said making the point that if this rationale was indeed true "India would be the country churning out the most number of terrorists."

This is a truly global issue and we cannot put a label on it, the Indian envoy said, adding "the sooner the world realises that it is a global phenomenon, it will be better."

On India's position on Iran, Sen said it was "very clear" that New Delhi believed that Tehran should honour obligations and commitments it "voluntarily accepted".

In an obvious reference to Pakistan, he said "We are next to and right adjacent to the biggest source and destination of proliferation of weapons of mass destruction."

"We are also adjacent to the largest global concentration of terrorists," Sen said adding that India's worst case scenario is the mix of the two in its neighbourhood.

"It is against India's national security interests to have another nuclear state in our area," he added.

Kicking off the session on "Promising Partners: Israel's Deepening Ties to India and Turkey", the Ambassador traced the history of the Jewish community in India, noting that at no time in the history of the country has there been any persecution of the community.

"We see the Jewish community as very much as our own," Sen said.

Calling relations between India and Israel as something that has "transcended time", Sen characterised the decades of not establishing full diplomatic relations between the two countries as some kind of an "aberration" that had only to be pegged to domestic factors.

The Cold War did play some part, Sen maintained but "this gap or absence despite contacts has been a bit of an aberration".

Sen pointed out that the absence of full diplomatic relations with Israel had nothing to do with religion for there was the realisation in India in the 1980s or even in the 1970s of the need to move forward and establish normal relations with a "fellow democracy."

"We could have moved faster," he said.

In spite of the late start, bilateral relations have been multi-faceted including on the economic and strategic fronts with the Jewish state now being the second largest supplier of defence equipment and technology with the cooperation extending to such aspects as co-production, Sen said.