Russia on Tuesday joined India in demanding from Pakistan expeditious punishment to all those involved in the Mumbai terror attacks with President Dmitry Medvedev asserting that a modern and civilised state cannot hide terrorists and should extradite them if it is interested in cooperating in the fight against terrorism.
Medvedev held wide-ranging talks with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh during which both sides “strongly condemned those who support terrorism noting that States that aid, abet or shelter terrorists are as guilty of acts of terrorism as their actual perpetrators,” a joint statement said.
“Terrorists are criminals ... they should be extradited to be punished. Those who hide terrorists conceal criminals,” Mr. Medvedev said at a joint press conference with Singh when asked how Russia looked at safe havens of terror operations in the region and how it can expand cooperation with India in dealing with this menace.
“We understand that the extradition process is quite complicated but it is important that international cooperation in this field should be in place between all those interested in the fight against terrorism,” Mr. Medvedev said.
“I believe that no modern civilised state can hide terrorists as law abiding citizens and cannot proceed on the assumption that they will change,” he said.
Both Russia and India reaffirmed that international terrorism is a threat to peace and security, a grave violation of human rights, and a crime against humanity.
“They agreed that there is no justification whatsoever for any act of terrorism, and that multi-ethnic democratic countries like India and Russia were especially vulnerable to acts of terrorism which are attacks against the values and freedoms enshrined in their societies,” the statement said.
Mr. Medvedev also said that “They (terrorists) are subject to punishment for the evils they have committed. To extradite them we need legal, bilateral frameworks, bilateral agreements between two countries. Once they are in place they should be applied between countries, including countries in this region.
Reaffirming the need for all States to combine efforts to vanquish this evil, the two sides agreed that all terrorist networks must be defeated.
“They called upon Pakistan to expeditiously bring all the perpetrators, authors and accomplices of the November 2008 Mumbai attacks to justice”, the statement said.
India expressed sympathy for the victims of the terrorist attacks in the Moscow metro stations in March 2010, and expressed support for Russia’s efforts to eliminate terrorism from Russian soil.
Expressing concern at the “deteriorating” security situation in Afghanistan, the two sides noted that successful stabilization will be possible only after the elimination of safe havens and infrastructure for terrorism and violent extremism that are present in Afghanistan and Pakistan.
In this context, the two sides also underscored the importance of stepped-up action by the International Security Assistance Force in combating production and trafficking of illegal narcotics in Afghanistan.
The sides welcomed Afghan Government’s policy of reintegrating those individuals who agree to give up violence, adhere to the Afghan constitution and do not have ties with Al Qaeda and other terrorist groups.
Both sides highlighted the need for strict observance of the sanctions regime against persons and entities listed by the UN Security Council Resolution 1267 Sanctions Committee.