Asserting that the problem of terrorism in India was imported, India’s President Pranab Mukherjee on Monday said indigenous terrorist activity was “extremely negligible” with hardly any involvement of the 150 million Muslims of the country.
“Of course there may be one or two out of hundred fifty million but all of these are imported,” he said in an interview to Norwegian media ahead of his two-day state visit to the Scandinavian nation. “These are coming from outside. Indigenous terrorist activity in India is extremely negligible and whenever such signs are visible we take appropriate steps.”
Mukherjee said terrorism has no respect for religion or borders, and has either no ideology or an only ideology which is wanton destruction and total negation of human values.
“Nobody should say terrorism indulged by A is good and terrorism indulged by B is bad. Good terrorists, bad terrorists – these types of classification, to my mind, are meaningless,” Mukherjee said, echoing the sentiment expressed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the recently concluded United Nations General Assembly in New York.
The president said the country has been fortunate as hardly any among the 150 million Muslims – second largest population after Indonesia – indulge in terrorism.
He said terrorism must be fought and should not be indulged in any form. “That is the only way you can handle the terrorism,” he said.
On the question of recent violence on the Indo-Pak border and Line of Control, Mukherjee, who has been foreign minister twice during his political career, said “I used to articulate that I cannot live in perpetual tension with my neighbour. I would like to ease the tensions.
“But at the same time, it is to be recognised that there have been a series of developments since independence and partition of these countries.”
Mukherjee said there are two institutional treaties – Shimla Agreement of 1972 and Lahore Declaration of 1999 – which can provide the mechanism through which outstanding issues could be resolved.