NEW DELHI: With an eye firmly on Pakistan, India on Monday called upon the international community to eliminate terrorist safe havens, disrupt their networks and financing, and thwart their crossborder movement to ensure sustainable regional security.
Defence minister Rajnath Singh, addressing the 6th ASEAN-Plus defence ministers’ meeting at Bangkok, described terrorism as the most obvious and heinous of crossborder crimes, stressing that some states use terror to pursue political goals that make regional security vulnerable.
“It is so much worse when terrorists are aided, abetted, armed, financed and sheltered by states. The interplay between states and non-state actors, used as proxies to foment violence, has worsened this menace. The persistence of state-sponsored terrorism is not just a painful cancer, it is also the leading reason for unsustainable security,” he said.
Security is only effective when it is sustainable and it is sustainable only when the interests of all in the region are taken on board, said Rajnath, underlining the need for a more cooperative, equitable and consultative paradigm to deal with broad and complex security challenges to find sustainable solutions.
Noting that India’s Indo-Pacific vision was based on the idea of “sustainable security” as it focuses on a free, open, inclusive and rules-based region, Singh expressed the hope that the code of conduct being negotiated for the contentious South China Sea would keep all relevant international laws in mind, including the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, and promote freedom of navigation, overflight and lawful commerce.
On the issue of denuclearization of the Korean peninsula, Singh said India looks forward to the progress made through dialogue in addressing all related issues, including the proliferation trail that links South and East Asia. “As dialogue remains on the table, we hope missile launches and such destabilizing activities will cease,” he said.

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