If Pak stops aiding terror, S Asia situation will improve: HM

If Pak stops aiding terror, S Asia situation will improve: HM

Launching a scathing attack on Pakistan, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh today said if the neighbouring country stops supporting terrorists, the security situation in South Asia will improve significantly.

Singh also said the failure of dreaded terror outfit ISIS to attract Indian Muslims was due to their complete integration into the mainstream. "Indian Muslims are patriots and are not swayed by fundamentalist ideologies. Extremism is alien to their nature," he said.

The Home Minister said the source of most terrorist activities in India lies across the borders and it is unfortunate that even after paying such a heavy price for itself, Pakistan and its associates find it difficult to understand that there are no "good terrorists and bad terrorists".

"Differentiating terrorists into good and bad categories has failed miserably. If the ISI and the Pakistan Army stops their support to certain terror outfits, I have no hesitation in saying that the security situation in South Asia will improve significantly," he said after inaugurating an international conference on counter terrorism here.

The Home Minister said that Pakistan should seriously rethink its strategy of using terrorism as an instrument of proxy war and that it would be in its own national interests.

"India has been a victim of cross-border terrorism for the last several decades. Terrorist organisations like Lashkar-e-Taiba and Jaish-e-Mohammad patronised by those across the border, have inflicted several acts of terror on the Indian soil. There are several instances of such proxies being used in other parts of the world," he said.

Singh said the menace of terrorism is greatly amplified in today's digital world and an incident in one corner of the globe can instantly spark a reaction thousands of miles away where a 'lone wolf' or a 'DIY (do it yourself) terrorist' can go online and learn how to carry out an attack without even leaving home.

Referring to the Middle-East terror group ISIS, the Home Minister said the influence of the Islamic State on the Indian youths is negligible. According to our intelligence agencies, just a handful of Indian youths has joined the ISIS and some have returned after being persuaded by their families.

Singh said India as a country is proud of all its diversity and has the second largest Muslim population in the world after Indonesia.

"India is home to all 73 firqas of Muslims and it houses one of the oldest church known to mankind in the world. We have been practising philosophy of peaceful coexistence for centuries," he said.

The Home Minister said that many terrorists are adept at using the latest technology to propagate their beliefs and deeds. They extensively use modern technology to reach out to wider audience with susceptible minds.

"Their online propaganda is causing self-radicalisation among youths. It is a matter of serious concern that they are seeding the minds of innocents with poisonous provocation and inspiring them to be brutally intolerant and violent with others," he said.

The three-day Counter Terrorism Conference, 2015 will discuss issues like 'illegal migration and border security', 'cyber space', 'social media and terrorism', and 'terror trade: weapons, narcotics and fake currency' in separate sessions.

Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar, National Security Advisor Ajit Doval, former Home Secretary G K Pillai, former Army Chief Gen (retd) V P Malik, former chief of BSF Prakash Singh and other dignitaries will attend the conference.

Several foreign participants including former chief of Sri Lankan Army Sarath Fonseka and Admiral Jamers Loy, Senior Counsellor, Cohen Group, USA will also be part of the conference.

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