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Don’t be selective in fighting terror: Shinde

Bandos Island (Maldives): India on Wednesday asked neighbouring countries not to be “selective” in fighting the “cancer” of terrorism that has impeded peace and security in South Asia.

“We cannot afford to be selective in our approach to such cancers in our region. As Ministers responsible for securing our nations, we need to consider if we are doing enough to address these challenges,” Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde said addressing the SAARC Home/Interior Ministers conference here.

Shinde, who did not name Pakistan, added, “Each instance of terrorism in our region is a reminder for us to cooperate in concrete action rather than merely in intentions….This is a hard reality that we seem to be forced to re-learn regularly.”

Terming terrorism as the single largest hindrance to socio-economic development in South Asia, the Minister said its linkages with organised crime has led to the simultaneous growth of trafficking in drugs, arms and exploitation of women and children.

“These are cancers that can only be removed from our region if we act in concert. Therefore, as neighbours and as partners in SAARC, we must work together much more closely and much more substantively.”

“We must create an atmosphere of peace and security both within our individual borders, and across our borders,” he said.

Shinde said no country can live within islands of security if South Asia is insecure, or if sources of insecurity exist outside the region’s borders.

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