Terror gravest threat to Asia: S Jaishankar
Terrorism is the “gravest threat” facing Asia, and all countries should back the “Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism” proposed by India to help combat the menace, external affairs minister S Jaishankar said on Saturday.
Addressing the Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia (CICA) Summit in the Tajikistan capital of Dushanbe, he said many of the 26 member states of the grouping were victims of terrorism.
“Terrorism is the gravest threat that we face in Asia today. Many CICA members are victims of terrorism and it should be clear that terrorists and their victims must never be equated,” he said.
“CICA has always shown a strong commitment to combat terrorism and extremism and adopt a comprehensive strategy to combat terrorism. Early finalisation of the Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism, proposed by India, is today even more essential and we seek your support in this regard,” he said.
Jaishankar’s remarks came a day after Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s address at the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) Summit in the capital of Kyrgyzstan, where he said all countries “encouraging, supporting and financing” terror must he held responsible for their actions. This was a thinly veiled reference to Pakistan.
In Afghanistan, Jaishankar said, India will continue to back a national peace and reconciliation process that is ‘Afghan-led and Afghan-owned’.
“We believe all initiatives and processes must include all sections of Afghan society, including the legitimately elected government,” he said.
He said lack of energy security had emerged as a key developmental challenge, and India backs a “better dialogue between consumers and producers for a stable energy market”. He called on CICA members to join India’s initiative of the International Solar Alliance as developing renewable energy will facilitate security and stability in Asia.
“India’s initiative of International Solar Alliance has received overwhelming support; 74 countries have signed the Framework Agreement. Developing renewable energy will be a great contribution to the security and stability of Asia and I invite CICA members who have not joined the Alliance to do so,” Jaishankar said.
Jaishankar also said India’s vision of the Indo-Pacific is rooted in the “SAGAR” or Security and Growth for All in the Region policy.
CICA is a pan-Asia forum for enhancing cooperation and promoting security and stability in Asia. India has been a member of CICA since its inception and former Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee participated in the grouping’s first summit in Kazakhstan in 2002.