New Delhi. Defence Minister Rajnath Singh called for collective international action to check perpetrators of terrorism and advocated strong measures against those who support and finance terrorism and provide sanctuary to terrorists.
Delivering a keynote address at the ‘Seoul Defence Dialogue 2019’ with the theme, ‘Building Peace Together: Challenges and Vision’, in South Korean capital Seoul where he is on a two-day visit said “of the numerous security challenges that the world is facing, the gravest is that of terrorism.” No country in the world is safe from terrorism and India has been actively pursuing counter terrorism cooperation bilaterally, regionally and globally through UN and other fora, he said.
Singh said, world politics today is in a state of flux and this has aggravated global and regional challenges to international peace and security. He said new and emerging technologies have impacted the regional as well as global security environment. “Our region is confronted with numerous traditional and non-traditional security threats such as terrorism, conflicts, transnational crimes, maritime threats, proliferation as well as the challenges of sustainable development, including the lack of energy, low intra-regional trade and lack of connectivity”, he said.
The Minister emphasised that good relations with neighbours – both immediate and extended – are a priority for India’s foreign policy as part of its Neighbourhood First Policy. “A key feature of India’s Neighbourhood First Policy is also its engagement with its neighbours in sub-regional groupings of Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA) and Bay of Bengal initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC), apart from a trilateral maritime co-operation format with Sri Lanka and Maldives to improve Maritime Domain Awareness and co-operation”, he added.
He expressed India’s support for peace and stability in the Korean Peninsula and its denuclearisation through dialogue and diplomacy. “Our quest for common prosperity and security requires us to evolve a common rules-based order for our region, the Indo-Pacific region. This order must be based on sovereignty and territorial integrity and equality of all nations, irrespective of size and strength. These rules and norms must be based on the consent of all”, he said.
Singh said Asia can make 21st century as century of peace and holistic development, where the nations can tackle the common challenges of poverty, disease, illiteracy and terrorism. He stressed the five principles of Indian thought –Samman (respect), Samvad (dialogue), Sahayog (cooperation), Shanti (peace) and Samriddhi (prosperity) – to achieve this goal.
The Minister said India and South Korea play a stellar role in bringing about peace, progress, prosperity, riding on twin pillars of economic and security partnership.
Singh termed as ‘spectacular’ the progress made by South Korea over the past few decades saying that it has been a source of inspiration for India. He added that the synergy between India’s ‘Act East Policy’ and South Korea’s ‘New Southern Policy’ has further strengthened Special Strategic Partnership between the two countries.