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World accepts India's agenda on terrorism - Arun Jaitley

World accepts India's agenda on terrorism - Arun Jaitley

Author: Aniket Raja
Publication: Organiser
Date: November 25, 2001.

"Fifteen years of terrorism in India has cost India 54,000 lives which no single war would have done that loss, and terrorist organisations such as Al Qaida and Lashkar-e-Toiba are spreading terrorism in India under the cover of jehad and freedom fight. While we want organisations that are involved in terrorist activities in Jammu and Kashmir to be banned by the rest of the world, why, whenever the Government tries to ban such organisations through antiterrorist laws, it is called "Draconian", posed Shri Arun Jaitley Union Minister for Law, Justice and Company Affairs at a seminar on "Two Years of Governance", organised by Organiser Forum at Mumbai recently.

Under such a situation how should we fight out terrorism? Shri jaitley asked. Should we fight it by internationally isolating those nations that encourage it; should we fight it by supporting a world effort that is yet to destroy the terrorist countries or should we fight it by winning back the confidence of the people in the terrorist-affected areas? He asked.

According to Shri Jaitley, the September 11 tragedy has vindicated India's stand on two counts. The first advantage is that the world has accepted India's agenda on terrorism. Today we have heads of governments behind us saying that we cannot have double-standard in the matter of terrorism, he said, and added we should have one voice on terrorism irrespective of the place where it is happening. Second, the epicentres of terrorism in Afghanistan are being destroyed and Pakistan is being compelled to be put into a 'back-foot, which is a great victory for India, Shri Jaitley said.

Shri Jaitley said that in the western world, where the problem of terrorism was marginally low, they had very strict anti-terrorist laws as compared to India. For successfully combating terrorism, Shri Jaitley suggested ways, which include: Financing channels of the terrorists must be eliminated, money laundering should be banned on salutary legal principle, i.e. no one should be allowed to enjoy the profits earned through terrorist activities; India should not rely on western countries especially the US to ban terrorist organisations, but ban them herself, India should develop a strong network to reach the terrorist hideouts and last, vested interest of the political parties should be set aside while dealing with matters related to terrorism.

Talking about the crises the country faced throughout the decade of the nineties, particularly after 1984 as the era of political instability began with the electorate not returning a clear verdict, Shri Jaitley said that India had shown a tremendous amount of resilience in getting out of those crises as the country had a clear verdict for an alliance in 1999 and hopefully the country is at present out of that instability.
The second problem from which we have moved away from the past is that coalitions have proved to be successful, Shri Jaitley said and added that our political behaviour in terms of running the coalition government seemed to be maturing.

Stating that today India had been successful in placing the Kashmir issue in the correct perspective, Shri Jaitley said that earlier Pakistan used to rake up the 1948 UN resolution on Kashmir at every international conference and used to whip up the issue of human rights in Kashmir. "Fortunately now, the situation is far behind us", the Minister said while. hailing Kargil as a major diplomatic victory for India. Speaking about countries that had adversely reacted against India's nuclear blast (especially Australia and Japan) he said that they were virtually now with us. Besides these two countries, the whole world is supporting India as regards Terrorism, Shri Jaitley said. Under such a situation India has got a golden, opportunity to march ahead, the Minister said and added, we have to prioritise the areas of our growth.

Elaborating on these areas he said that there was a growing sense of cynicism in the Indian society and if this persisted it would create a major hurdle in our growth. We still as a nation have not learnt the art to identify issues that are totally national, especially economic issues and national security, opined Shri Jaitley.

The Minister further said, that we were going towards a mediacentric governance, whether it was business, industry, sports or day to day governance. It is not just the glaring headlines of the newspapers that can hijack the national agenda. Agendas are based on far more responsible and careful thinking. A cynical nation that just highlights or exaggerates its problems does not resolve the problems but creates more problems for itself, Shri Jaitley maintained.

Speaking on the occasion Shri Seshadri Chari, the Editor of Organiser, said that it had been a great pleasure that whenever there was a need for collecting people together for a common cause the response had been tremendous. To institutionalise all these responses in a proper way Organiser Forum was formed, Shri Chari further elaborated and added that it was proposed to hold such meetings in as many centers as possible in the country.

So strong is the impact of terrorism that what is uppermost in the minds of the people today. Is not economic reforms or governance but the effects of terrorism on our day to day life, said Shri Chari. Terrorism has come to occupy the centre stage of not only Indian politics but also the international polity, he added.

Among the other eminent personalities who graced the occasion were S/Shri Akhilesh Bhargava, Bharat Udeshi and Raj Basantani of Sounderaft Industries. Shri Madhav Bhave recited the Vande Mataram and Shri Atul Shah, BJP MLA from Khetwari, Mumbai proposed a vote of thanks.

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