India her on Friday said the fight against terrorism is not against any religion but underlined that the countries providing shelter and funding to it must be asked to dismantle the infrastructure of terrorism based in their countries, an apparent reference to Pakistan.
Addressing a conference of 57-nation Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (IOC) here as the ‘Guest of Honour’ here, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj said those indulging in terrorism are resorting to “distortion of religion” and giving different names to the menace to justify it.
Swaraj addressed the plenary session of the conference which was boycotted by Pakistan as a protest against the invitation to India for the first time in the grouping’s 50-year-old history.
#WATCH EAM Sushma Swaraj at OIC conclave: If we want to save humanity,we must tell the states who provide shelter & funding to terrorists, to dismantle the infrastructure of the terrorist camps and stop providing shelter & funding to the terror organisations based in that country pic.twitter.com/Ojmu85UtK5
— ANI (@ANI) March 1, 2019
In her speech, she said “senseless terrorist violence” was destroying lives, destabilising regions and putting the world at great peril as its “lethality” was increasing and “toll rising”.
“In the rich diversity of Southeast Asia, in West Asia, and the Gulf, in North Africa, and Sahel region, in Europe, and North America, in Afghanistan, Bangladesh, and India, we see the terrible face of terror,” she added.
Swaraj said terrorism and extremism were given “different names” to justify such acts and involved “distortion of religion”.
“The fight against terrorism is not a confrontation against any religion and can’t be against any religion. Just as Islam means peace, none of the 99 names of Allah means violence. Similarly, every religion stands for peace,” Swaraj said.
EAM Sushma Swaraj at OIC conclave:.Terrorism in each case is driven by distortion of religion. Fight against terror is not a confrontation against any religion. Just as Islam means peace, none of the 99 names of Allah mean violence.Similarly every religion stands for peace pic.twitter.com/OeUxerHz75
— ANI (@ANI) March 1, 2019
In this context, she also referred to the preaching of the founder of Sikhism Guru Nanak and highlighted how all religions co-exist peacefully in India in a pluralistic society.
At the same time, the External Affairs Minister underlined, “We must tell the States which provide shelter and funding to terrorism to dismantle the infrastructure of terrorism like camps based in those countries.
Although she did not name any country, the reference was clearly to Pakistan and the comments come against the backdrop of Pulwama terror attack.
She also said that the menace of terrorism cannot be fought only by military means but the strength of cultural values also should be used.
“I would like to say that this menace could not be fought, only through military, intelligence or diplomatic means,” she said.
She suggested the involvement of people like sages and scholars to work to end terrorism.
“It is also a battle, that must be won through the strengths of our values, and the real message of religions. This is a task that states, societies, sages, scholars, spiritual leaders, and families must pursue, through personal contacts and on social media. And, for this – Faiths must speak to faiths, Cultures must engage cultures, Communities must build bridges, not erect walls, The youth must shape the future, not destroy lives.”