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Terrorism, online radicalisation security challenge:Sitharaman

Posted on 24 October 2017 by admin

AIHRA News Tuesday 24th October 2017

Manila, Oct 24 (PTI) Terrorism and radicalisation through social media pose a “serious” security challenge to all countries and a strong collective action is required to fight the “scourge”, Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said today.

Addressing the 4th ASEAN Defence Ministers’ meeting here in the capital of the Philippines, she said the global strategic and security situation was constantly evolving and had thrown up fresh and serious challenges.

“The defence and security scenario in our shared region has also witnessed significant changes recently. Our countries now need to simultaneously prepare for traditional (military) and non-traditional threats,” Sitharaman, who is on her first foreign visit since taking over as India’s first woman defence minister last month, said.

Terming terrorism a “trans-national phenomena” which needed strong collective action, Sitharaman praised the Philippines for resolutely addressing the threat posed by terrorists in the southern part of the country.

“New developments in social media and cyberspace have expanded the threat, as these are exploited by terrorists to develop less visible but lethal ways and means of manipulating minds of the people,” she was quoted as saying in an official statement.

“I wish to commend the Philippines for reiterating India’s zero tolerance for terrorism anywhere and under any circumstances. There are no good terrorists,” she said.

Sitharaman said the transnational activism of terrorist groups and the “spectre” of returning foreign fighters as well as the conduct of irresponsible states that provide safe havens, funding and even encouragement to terrorist groups all needed to be addressed jointly and comprehensively.

“Terrorism anywhere is a threat everywhere,” she said.

“India has taken resolute measures to fight the scourge of terrorism from across its borders. We fully recognise the role of joint mechanisms with our partners and the role of international and regional forums in fighting this menace.

“The recent, BRICS Summit Declaration condemning all forms of terrorism and identifying a number of terrorist organisations engaged in dastardly acts was a positive step…

We should be clear and unequivocal in our condemnation of terrorism,” she was quoted as saying in the statement.

Sitharaman said the maritime security was another key concern and India supports freedom of navigation, overflight and commerce throughout the region.

“Nations should resolve maritime disputes peacefully and in accordance with international law. We support a rules based order for oceans and sea that is critical for the continued growth and development of the Indo-Pacific region,” she said, in an apparent reference to China flexing its muscles in the East and South China seas.

China is engaged in hotly contested territorial disputes in both the South China Sea and the East China Sea. Beijing has built up and militarised many of the islands and reefs it controls in the region.

China claims almost all of the South China Sea where there are counter claims from Vietnam, Malaysia, the Philippines, Brunei and Taiwan.

China and Japan have a dispute over the uninhabited islands in the East China Sea.

Beijing has laid claims on the Senkaku islands under the control of Japan in East China Sea and resorted to aggressive patrols in the last two years.

Since Donald Trump took over the Presidency, the US dispatched two warships close to the artificial islands built by China to assert freedom of navigation.

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