Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Thursday described the Indian Muslims as patriots who were not swayed by fundamental ideologies, and said the failure of the ISIS to attract Indian Muslims, constituting the second largest Muslim population, was due to their complete integration into the national mainstream.
"Extremist is alien to their nature. India is home to all 72 sects of Muslims and it houses one of oldest churches known to the mankind,’’ he said while pointing out that India had been practicing the philosophy of peaceful coexistence for centuries.
Inaugurating a three-day International Counter Terrorism Conference here, the Home Minister said he was happy to note that the influence of Islamic State on the Indian youth was negligible and that just a handful of India youth have joined the ISIS. "Some have also returned after being persuaded by their families,’’ he said quoting intelligence agencies.
According to Mr Singh, these terrorists were adept at using the latest technologies to propagate their beliefs and deeds. "They extensively use modern technology to reach out wider audience with susceptible minds. Their online propaganda is causing online self-radicalisation among youth which is a matter of serious concern,’’ he said.
Taking on Pakistan for patronizing terror organisation, the Home Minister said India has been a victim of cross border terrorism for the last several decades with organisations like LeT and Jaish-e-Mohammad have inflicted several acts of terror on the Indian soil. Asking Pakistan to `seriously rethink’ its strategy of using terrorism as an instrument of proxy war, Mr Singh said this would significantly improve the security situation in South Asia besides being in its own national interest. He said Pakistan should understand that there are no good or bad terrorists. "Differentiating terrorists into good and bad categories has failed miserably. If the ISI and the Pakistan Army stops their support to certain terror outfits, I have no hesitation in saying that the security situation in South Asia will improve significantly,’’ he said.
"Terrorism knows no boundaries and does not respect nations’ sovereignties. They have become trans-national in character and use modern technology to propagate their ideology and perpetrate violence. They are exploring new frontier to inflict terror such as cyber terrorism and chemical and radio-active devices,’’ Mr Singh said.
Suggesting that there was no alternative to forging international cooperation to effectively counter it, the Home Minister said such co-operations are required in the field of intelligence sharing to preempt terrorist threats.
"International co-operations are also imperative among the law enforcement agencies of for post-event investigations to bring the terrorists to justice and pressurize the countries that use terrorists as their strategic assets,’’ the Home Minister told the participants of the Conference organized by Sardar Patel University of Police, Security and Criminal Justice and India Foundation. Also present on the occasion were Union Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar, Minister of State (Home) Kiren Rijiju, MoS (External Afairs) V.K.ingh and MoS (Commerce and Industry) Nirmala Sitharaman and MoS (Planning) Rao Inderjit Singh.
Describing terror outfits like the ISIS as extremely intolerant of a liberal and secular democratic order, Mr Singh said these (terror outfits) unleash the worst form of violence to erase the diversity and destabilize the democratic order while citing the examples of mass killing of people of other faiths and mass enslavement of women by the ISIS and Boko Haram. They vandalise the secular heritage of mankind left in the form of art and craft, Mr Singh said while citing the examples of the destruction of Bamiyan Buddha by Taliban in Afghanistan and the pre-Islamic relics by the ISIS in Syria.
Addressing the inaugural session, Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje said India has vast experience in fighting terrorism and other insurgencies over a variety of terrain. Cross border terrorism involving external and involving external and internal groups as well as various insurgencies have been active here. "Even as we guard against dangers from abroad, we cannot neglect the daunting challenge of terrorism from within our borders,’’ she said.