State-sponsored terrorism is “a painful cancer”: Rajnath

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Defence Minister Rajnath Singh at 6th ASEAN Defence Ministers’ Meeting Plus (ADMM-Plus) ‘Sustainable Security’ in Bangkok, on November .

New Delhi (NVI): Clearly talking in the context of Pakistan, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh today described State-sponsored terrorism as “a painful cancer” which is “the leading reason for unsustainable security” and asked the international community to act collectively against such a menace.

Addressing Defence Ministers of 10-member Association of East Asian Nations (ASEAN) and the grouping’s dialogue partners, including China, in Bangkok, he said security is effective only when it is sustainable and it is sustainable only when the interests of all in the region are taken on board.

Describing terrorism as the most obvious and heinous of cross-border crimes, Singh said “some States use terror to pursue political goals making regional security vulnerable”, a clear reference to Pakistan.

“It is so much worse, when terrorists are aided, abetted, armed, financed and sheltered by States. The interplay between States and non-State actors, used as proxies to foment violence has worsened this menace. The persistence of State-sponsored terrorism is not just a painful cancer, it is also the leading reason for unsustainable security,” he said.

He also called upon the international community to eliminate terrorist safe havens, disrupt their networks and financing and thwart their cross-border movement to ensure sustainable regional security.

Talking about India’s Indo-Pacific vision, the Defence Minister said it is based on idea of sustainable security as it focusses on a free, open, inclusive and rules-based Indo-Pacific, where there is respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity of everyone involved.

“Our region must remain open and welcoming to the interests of all, those who live in it and others whose interests are in it. In short, our approach to security in the Indo-Pacific is sustainable by definition because it emphasises ‘Security and Growth for All in the Region’ (SAGAR),” he added.

He hoped that the situation will remain stable, without the use or threat to use force or militarisation of the region

“I hope that the outcome of these talks will keep with all relevant international laws, including United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea and promotes freedom of navigation, overflight and lawful commerce,” the Defence Minister said.

The Minister stressed upon the need for a more cooperative, equitable and consultative paradigm to deal with broad and complex security challenges to find sustainable solutions.