At OIC meet, Sushma Swaraj quotes Rig Veda, Quran to denounce terror
In a first, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on Friday addressed the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) meeting at Abu Dhabi as a guest of honour. She cited verses from Quran and Rig Veda to stress that the menace of terrorism is caused by “distortion of religion” and “misguided belief”.
Holy Quran says, Swaraj quoted, “Let there be no compulsion in religion” and went to add a verse from Sura Al Hujurat of the holy book that reads, “O Mankind! We created you from a single pair of male and female, and made you into nations and tribes, so that you may know one another, not that you may despise one another.”
“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,” the external affairs minister said.
Watch: ‘States that back terror must be stopped’: Sushma Swaraj at OIC meet
Swaraj, who attended the inaugural plenary of the two-day meeting in Abu Dhabi, as the guest of honour, further read out a couplet of Guru Nanak Dev, the founder of Sikhism. Quoting Guru Nanak Dev, Swaraj said, “First, Allah created light; then, by his creative power, he made all mortal beings. From that one light, the entire world came into being. So, who is good, and who is bad?”
In the same vein, Swaraj referred to the oldest Sanskrit text, the Rig Veda to say, “God is One but learned men describe Him in many ways.” During her speech, Swaraj emphasised that “the fight against terrorism is not a confrontation against any religion.”
At the OIC meet, Swaraj called for building pressure on the countries that support terrorist groups to dismantle terror infrastructure on their soil and stop funding such outfits. Her comments have come amid heightened tension between India and Pakistan.
The air forces of the two countries were engaged in a dogfight for the first time since 1971 war after Pakistan Air Force intruded into Indian airspace and attempted to target military installations. India-Pakistan ties strained further after a terror attack killing 40 soldiers in Jammu and Kashmir on February 14.
Pakistan-based terror group Jaish-e-Mohammed claimed responsibility for the attack on CRPF soldiers in south Kashmir’s Pulwama. While Pakistan refused to take cognizance of the claim, Indian Air Force carried out a strike at a Jaish terror camp in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province. Pakistan responded the attack on terror camp by intruding Indian airspace on Wednesday.
In the backdrop of strain in relation and irked by the invitation extended by the 57-member OIC to India as a guest of honour, Pakistan decided not to send its Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi to Abu Dhabi.