India for coordinated, effective response against terrorism


S.M. Krishna

Terrorists were becoming sophisticated and developing networks threatening the world, External Affairs Minister S M Krishna said addressing the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) meeting here, also attended by Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi.

The issue of terrorism came up in a big way at the Foreign Ministerial conference of 27 countries, including the US, against the backdrop of the Jakarta bombings last week.

Indonesia raised the matter, making a fervent appeal for action on both "collective and country-specific basis".

Krishna joined in and pointed out that terrorism knows no boundaries and collective efforts needed to be made to defeat it. He referred to the Mumbai attacks and other incidents and highlighted how India has been a victim of terrorism that emanates from the neighbourhood.

Without naming Pakistan, he drew the attention of the conference to the cross-border linkages to the problem being faced by India while referring to the 26/11 attacks.

"Terrorism has become more sophisticated. Terrorists have an effective network among themselves and if effective response is to be initiated against it, there has to be greater cooperation among the countries of the region in terms of sharing of intelligence, etc," Krishna told the meeting.

Later, briefing media persons on his intervention, the minister said if terrorism has to be fought in an effective manner, "we have to sharpen our response apparatus, focus (on) it and intelligence available to each country must be immediately shared with other country so that possible attacks can be prevented and thwarted."

Asked whether he referred to Pakistan in his intervention on terror, Krishna said though he did not mention, "it is obvious where the terrorism is coming from (in India)."

He said the meeting arrived at a consensus on the issue, which was an encouraging development. "We will have to build on it."

On broader relations between India and the ASEAN region, Krishna said New Delhi is keen to forge stronger ties because of "complementarities which are visible and felt".

He said he had pledged to strengthen the relationship further and it would be reciprocated

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