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India, EU Vow Decisive Joint Action against Global Terror Groups

Akash Vashishtha
New Delhi
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Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi (center), is flanked by European Council President Donald Tusk (left), and European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker during a news conference following the 14th EU-India Summit in New Delhi, Oct. 6, 2017.

Officials from the European Union and India agreed Friday to take decisive and concerted action against global terror organizations, including Islamic State (IS) and al-Qaeda.

The two sides also vowed to fight pro-Pakistan organizations Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), Jaish-e-Muhammad (JeM) and Hizbul Mujahideen (HM) who claim to be fighting for Muslim-majority Kashmir’s freedom from Indian rule. An outbreak of a separatist insurgency in the disputed Himalayan region, claimed in its entirety by both India and Pakistan, has claimed more than 70,000 lives since the late 1980s.

A joint statement issued at the end of the 14th EU-India Summit condemned recent terrorist attacks in Indian Kashmir, other parts of India and Europe, with both sides promising to bring the perpetrators to justice. Prime Minister Narendra Modi hosted the meeting in New Delhi attended by Donald Tusk, president of the European Council, and Jean-Claude Juncker, president of the European Commission.

The two sides resolved to step up cooperation to prevent and counter terrorism, violent extremism, radicalization, recruitment and to dismantle terror infrastructure and funding, according to the statement.

“The leaders agreed to strengthen cooperation to take decisive and concerted actions against globally proscribed terrorists and terror entities …,” the joint statement said.

The list of proscribed militants included Hafiz Saeed, a Pakistan-based cleric and founder of Lashkar-e-Taiba, which Indian authorities have blamed for the November 2008 terrorist attacks that killed more than 170 people over four days in Mumbai. Dawood Ibrahim, a fugitive who is wanted by India for the country’s deadliest terrorist attack, the 1993 Mumbai bombings, was also on the list.

India’s position

And in a reference to the Rohingya community, India and the E.U. urged Myanmar authorities to implement the Kofi Annan-led Rakhine Advisory Commission’s recommendations, and work with Bangladesh to enable the return of displaced persons from all communities to Rakhine state.

“The world responding to Myanmar to change its course and become tolerant toward the Rohingya community is a good development,” Bharat Karnad, a foreign policy analyst with the New Delhi-based Center for Policy Research, told BenarNews.

But other analysts said India was playing the diplomatic card.

“India’s position on Rohingya is diabolic. It is asking Myanmar to take them back but is not condemning its army for the human rights violations it is committing against the minority,” said Sai Balaji, a researcher in the Diplomacy and Disarmament Division of the Center for International Politics at New Delhi’s Jawaharlal Nehru University.

In August, India’s ruling Hindu-nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party said it planned to deport about 40,000 Rohingya refugees settled in the country – a move slammed by human rights organizations worldwide.

During a hearing in the Supreme Court last week, the government said it would submit evidence that Rohingya living in India had links with terror organizations.

Dushyant Nagar, a New Delhi-based political affairs analyst, said the Rohingya issue was a sensitive matter for India.

“India has to balance between its constitution and the human rights while dealing with Rohingya,” he told BenarNews. “The government should cautiously study and verify intelligence whether the Rohingya are actually connected with terror groups. If they are involved, they should be pushed out and if they are not, they need to be dealt with in a humane manner.”

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