India, Russia condemn use of terror groups for political ends

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Vladivostok: Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Russian President Vladimir Putin witness the exchange of MoUs/Agreements ushering in new areas of cooperation including connectivity, deep sea exploration , space, energy among others, in Vladivostok on Sep 4, 2019. (Photo: IANS/MEA)

Vladivostok (Russia)  Russia has joined India in condemning “double standards” in countering terrorism and extremism and “use of terrorist groups for political ends”, a statement that assumes significance in the context of India which is faced with such a menace emanating from Pakistan.

A joint statement issued a day after talks between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Russian President Vladimir Putin said the two leaders strongly condemned terrorism in all its forms and manifestations and called on the international community to set up a united front to fight against this evil.

“They reaffirmed their commitment to undertake all measures to prevent and combat terrorism,” it said.

“They insisted on the inadmissibility of double standards in countering terrorism and extremism, as well as of the use of terrorist groups for political ends,” it said.

Although the joint statement did not name any country but the reference can easily be drawn to Pakistan which has been adopting double standards on the issue of terrorism and using terror groups like Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) and Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) as an instrument of foreign policy to hurt India.

The statement said both Modi and Putin called for “enhanced coordination of our states’ efforts” within the framework of international counter-terrorism cooperation, including by strengthening the fight against the use of information and communication technologies for terrorist purposes.

“They agreed to intensify counter-terrorism cooperation in bilateral and multilateral formats and called for early finalisation of the Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism (CCIT),” it said.

The CCIT, which was proposed by India at the UN more than two decades back for comprehensively tackling terrorism, remains pending before the world body for the want of consensus on what terrorism connotes.

India and a number of other countries are pushing for its early adoption so that the fight against terrorism could be led by the UN. Recently, India has proposed holding of a global conference against terrorism to bring various nations on one platform to fight the menace affecting the entire world.

“Today, no country is aloof from the shadow of terrorism. India and Russia need to be united in their counter-terrorism efforts,” the statement said, adding “Russia noted India’s proposal to organize a global anti-terrorism conference.”

India and Russia also reaffirmed their mutual commitment to strengthening the current inter-state drug control regime based on the three relevant UN conventions.

The two leaders also appreciated the level of interaction between the two countries on cooperation in the field of security in the use of information and communication technologies, including at multilateral specialized negotiating platforms, primarily at the UN.

“It was noted that based on the outcomes of the 73rd session of the UNGA, a set of international rules, norms and principles of responsible behaviour of States has been adopted by the UN General Assembly in December 2018, and a wide discussion on information and communication technologies (ICTs) security including countering the use of ICT for criminal purposes has been launched,” the statement said.

Modi and Putin emphasized the need to establish a framework for cooperation among BRICS countries in the sphere of security in the use of ICTs, including through concluding relevant intergovernmental agreement between the association’s member-states.

The two sides reaffirmed the commonality of approaches to the provision of security in the use of ICTs and willingness to strengthen bilateral inter-agency practical cooperation through realization of the India-Russia intergovernmental agreement on cooperation in Security in the use of ICTs.

They resolved to take necessary steps to enhance bilateral cooperation in accordance with the plan to implement the main directions of cooperation between India and Russia on the security in the use of Information and Communication Technologies for 2019-2020.

“Both sides stressed the need to continue efforts aimed at improving the international security environment, as well as to work consistently with a view to increasing the level of inter-state trust and strengthening global and regional stability in all its aspects as a basis for ensuring lasting peace founded on the principle of equal and indivisible security for all, while respecting the interests and concerns of all states,” it said.

They agreed to maintain intensive contacts on the entire range of security issues through the National Security Council Secretariat and the Security Council of the Russian Federation.

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