Bharatiya Janata Party leader L.K. Advani called terrorism the most serious challenge to international peace and security and drew attention to India’s battle against it over more than two decades.
He praised the U.N. for its “seminal” role in combating terrorism, and called for greater international and regional cooperation to fight terrorism. He expressed hope that the newly established U.N. Counter-Terrorism Centre would supplement efforts.
As chair of the Counter-Terrorism Committee, it has been India’s constant endeavor to provide political direction to the work of the committee and a greater momentum to efforts in bolstering member states’ ability in confronting the scourge of terrorism, Advani noted.
“My own country, India, has faced the scourge of terrorism for over two-and-a-half decades. Indeed, our entire region, South Asia, has been wracked by the activities of the biggest terrorist actors in the world, be they al-Qaida, elements of Taliban or Lashkar-e-Taiba, Jamat-ud Daawa and others. Terrorism, extremism and radicalization continue to pose a serious challenge to peace, progress and prosperity in the region,” Advani asserted, adding that India has signed 40 bilateral treaties on extradition and mutual legal assistance.
At another U.N. committee meeting, Advani emphasized India’s efforts to end poverty. Speaking on the issue of “Social Development” the opposition leader said corruption in many developing countries needs to be “tackled on a war footing”. He also said India was putting great effort into achieving “inclusive growth” especially in rural areas, and touted the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme which ensured 100 days of work for 53 million poor rural households, reserving 50 percent of jobs for women. “This programme has helped break down social inequalities, empower rural people, build up rural infrastructure and revive economic growth,” Advani said.