Isolate those who harbour terrorists, says Narendra Modi in British Parliament
In a veiled reference to Pakistan, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday said there should be a global resolve to \"isolate\" those who harbour terrorists and willingness to stand with nations that will fight them \"honestly\".
In a veiled reference to Pakistan, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday said there should be a global resolve to "isolate" those who harbour terrorists and willingness to stand with nations that will fight them "honestly".
Addressing MPs in British Parliament's Royal Gallery, Modi, who is the first Indian Prime Minister to visit the UK in 10 years, said the world must speak in one voice and act in unison to combat terrorism, calling it a "challenge of our times."
Dwelling on terrorism among other subjects during his 25-minute speech, Modi said there should be no distinction between terrorist groups or discrimination between nations.
"There should be a resolve to isolate those who harbour terrorists and willingness to stand with nations that will fight them honestly. And, we need a social movement against extremism in countries where it is most prevalent and, every effort to delink religion and terrorism," he said.
"The world must speak in one voice and act in unison to combat this challenge of our times," Modi said while stating that terrorism and extremism are a global force that are larger than their changing names, groups, territories and targets.
"We must adopt a Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism in the UN without delay. There should be no distinction between terrorist groups or discrimination between nations.”
On the situation in the Indian sub-continent, Modi said India wants an Afghanistan that is shaped by the dreams of the great Afghan people, not by "irrational fears and overreaching ambitions" of others.
Modi told the British parliamentarians that we are living in a world where instability in a distant region quickly reaches our doorsteps and that we see this in the challenges of radicalisation and refugees. "The fault lines are shifting from the boundaries of nations into the web of our societies and the streets of our cities," he said.
Stating that he is truly honoured to speak in the British Parliament, Modi said even in this globalised world, London is still the standard for our times.
Modi said Indians invest more in Britain than in the rest of European Union combined not because they want to save on interpretation costs, but because they find an environment that is welcoming and familiar.
India is the third largest source of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) projects in the UK. Stating that India is new bright spot of hope and opportunity for the world, the Prime Minister said India among other things is igniting the engines of its manufacturing sector and making its farms more productive and more resilient. "If you visit India, you will experience the wind of change," he told his audience.
On domestic issues, Modi said federalism is no longer the fault line of Centre-State relations, but the definition of a new partnership of Team India. "Citizens now have the ease of trust, not the burden of proof and process. Businesses find an environment that is open and easy to work in," he said.
Modi said Indian and UK security agencies work together so that our children return home safe and our increasingly networked lives are not prey to the threats on cyber space.
"Our Armed Forces exercise with each other, so that they can stand more strongly for the values we represent. This year alone, we have had three exercises together," he said.
He mentioned that a peaceful, stable Indian Ocean Region is vital for global commerce and prosperity. "And, the future of Asia Pacific region will have profound impact on all of us. We both have huge stakes in West Asia and the Gulf," he said amid increasing Chinese assertiveness in South China Sea.
He said UK's support to India in the international arena, has made it more possible for India to take her rightful place in global institutions and regimes. "It has helped us both advance our common interests".
"Inspired by Gandhiji, the change has begun with us – the way the government works. There is transparency and accountability in governance. There is boldness and speed in decisions. Federalism is no longer the fault line of Centre-State relations, but the definition of a new partnership of Team India.”
"Citizens now have the ease of trust, not the burden of proof and process. Businesses find an environment that is open and easy to work in. In a nation connected by cell phones, Digital India is transforming the interface between Government and people," he said.
Modi said the motto of 'Sab Ka Saath, Sab Ka Vikas', is his vision of a nation, in which every citizen belongs, participates and prospers.
It is not just a call for economic inclusion. It is also a celebration of our diversity, the creed for social harmony, and, a commitment to individual liberties and rights, he said.
"This is the timeless ethos of our culture, this is the basis of our constitution, and, this will be the foundation of our future," he said.
Modi pointed out that on the way to this event, Cameron and he paid homage to Mahatma Gandhi outside the Parliament. "I was reminded of a question I was asked on a tour abroad. How is it that the statue of Gandhi stands outside the British Parliament?”
"To that question, my answer is: The British are wise enough to recognise his greatness, Indians are generous enough to share him, we are both fortunate enough to have been touched by his life and mission; and, we are both smart enough to use the strengths of our connected histories to power the future of our relationship," he said.