French envoy flags leak of terror tip-off

The comments from the Ambassador and other French diplomats came barely two days before French President Francois Hollande lands in Chandigarh.

Updated - November 17, 2021 03:11 am IST

Published - January 22, 2016 11:49 pm IST - NEW DELHI

Confirming that a “specific paper” carrying a threat to French President Francois Hollande was received by the authorities, French Ambassador Francois Richier on Friday indicated that India and France were working together to broaden the joint front against terror.

“France is fighting terrorists in Syria, Iraq, Africa and we face real terror threats. India and France have common interests and common values, and we hope to take forward our cooperation on counter-terror during President Hollande’s visit,” Mr. Richier said, proposing that sensitive information on threat perceptions were best handled without creating media hype and should not be leaked, as was the case regarding the latest threat to Mr. Hollande.

The comments from the Ambassador and other French diplomats came barely two days before Mr. Hollande lands in Chandigarh.

The envoy said a major showpiece during the Republic Day parade would be the contingent of 56 personnel of 35th Infantry Regiment of 7th Armoured Division of the French Army, which will highlight the growing synergy between French and Indian security goals.

‘India, France can gain by sharing strategies against terrorism’

“India and France are carrying out Shakti 2016 in Rajasthan which reflects our common interests,” the French Ambassador said, referring to the joint exercise under way in Rajasthan, which focusses on counter-terror and counter-insurgency operations.

Commentators have pointed out that there are differences between the French and Indian experience of handling terror, but both sides will benefit by exchanging ideas and strategies for a larger goal. “Terror threats to France are from Syria, Iraq and other such unstable spots faraway from French borders. But the terror we face in India is of cross-border nature, from Pakistan. That is why we need international collaboration so that financial channels and political supporters of state- sponsored terrorism can be dealt with by using the United Nations,” said Gen. (retd.) Ved Prakash Malik, former Chief of the Army Staff.

“Collaboration with France on counter-terror will also help to bring in anti-terror resolutions at the United Nations and on other multilateral platforms in near future,” he said, explaining that the armed counter-measures were not sufficient to deal with terror sponsors and terrorists as the global war on terror demanded a multi-layered strategy.

Last year, India’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations spoke about the organisation’s inability to give a “robust” response to international terrorism after the India-backed resolution against 26/11 plotter and LeT commander Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi failed to go through the Security Council because of Chinese opposition.

Greater French support for India’s decades-old anti-terror struggle would help India attain both regional as well as global targets in the fight against terrorism, Gen. Malik said.

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