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Tuesday, October 14, 2014, Ashwin 29, 1421, Zilhajj 18, 1435 Hijr

Hardly any Indian Muslim indulges in terrorism: Pranab
Observer Online Desk
Publish Date : 2014-10-14,  Publish Time : 19:34,  View Count : 7
OSLO, Norway: Asserting that the problem of terrorism in India was imported, President Pranab Mukherjee has said indigenous terrorist activity was "extremely negligible" with hardly any involvement of the 150 million Muslims of the country.

"Of course there may be one or two out of hundred fifty million but all of these are imported. These are coming from outside. Indigenous terrorist activity in India is extremely negligible and whenever such signs are visible we take appropriate steps," he said in interviews to the Norwegian media ahead of his two-day state visit to Norway.

Pranab said terrorism has no respect for religion or borders with no ideology or their only ideology is wanton destruction and total negation of human values.

"Nobody should say terrorism indulged by A is good and terrorism indulged by B is bad. Good terrorists, bad terrorists--these types of classification, to my mind, are meaningless," Pranab said.

The president said the country has been fortunate as hardly any among the 150 million Muslims--second largest population after Indonesia--indulges in terrorism. He said terrorism must be fought and should not be indulged in any form. "That is the only way you can handle the terrorism," he said.

On the question of recent violence on the Indo-Pak border and Line of Control, Pranab said the foreign minister would be the right person to answer this and added that stated policy on the issue is we can select our friends but cannot select our neighbours.

"In my capacity as the foreign minister serving India twice, I used to articulate that I cannot live in perpetual tension with my neighbour. I would like to ease the tensions.

"But at the same time, it is to be recognised that there have been a series of developments since independence and partition of these countries," he said.

Pranab said there are two institutional treaties--Shimla Agreement of 1972 and Lahore Declaration of 1999--which can provide the mechanism through which outstanding issues could be resolved.

President has refrained from commenting on Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai inviting the prime ministers of India and Pakistan to the award ceremony even as he lauded her "courage and indomitable spirit".

"Constitutionally, the Indian President is above day to day politics...So, what the leaders should do or not do, I leave it to them. I would not like to make any comment," he said in media interviews here adding that he had severed his political connections the day he decided to contest presidential elections.

However, the president was full of praise for Malala whom he described as a young girl who represents courage and indomitable spirit which is the driving force of civilization. He also lauded the efforts of India's Kailash Satyarthi who shares the prize with Malala saying he has been recognized by various organisations for his activities against child labour for quite some time.


Editor : Iqbal Sobhan Chowdhury
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