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One Country In Neighbourhood Producing, Exporting Terror: PM

The Prime Minister's fresh jibes directed at Pakistan came three days after he launched a sharp attack on Islamabad at the G20 summit

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Stepping up his attack on Pakistan, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday said there is "one country in our neighbourhood" which "produces and exports" terror as he pressed the international community to isolate and sanction "this" instigator.

"There's one country in our neighbourhood whose competitive advantage rests solely in producing and exporting terrorism," he said in his address at the East Asia Summit, without naming Pakistan.

"The time has come for us to stop this global exporter of terror," Modi said.

Earlier, while addressing the 14th ASEAN-India Summit in Vientiane, Modi expressed deep concern at the rising "export of terror", in an apparent reference to Pakistan, saying it is a common security threat to the region.

The Prime Minister also noted that growing radicalism through the ideology of hatred and spread of extreme violence are the other security threats.

"Export of terror, growing radicalisation and spread of extreme violence are common security threats to our societies," he said in his attack on Pakistan amid escalating war of words between New Delhi and Islamabad.

Speaking at the East Asia Summit with US President Barack Obama and Chinese Premier Li Keqiang in attendance, Modi said, "This (terrorism) export is reducing space for peace and increasing space for violence and putting at risk peace and prosperity of all."

"The time has come to isolate and sanction this instigator," Modi said.

The Prime Minister's fresh jibes directed at Pakistan came three days after he launched a sharp attack on Pakistan, saying that "one single nation" in South Asia is spreading the "agents of terror". He had told the G20 leaders in Hangzhou on Monday that those who sponsor the menace must be sanctioned and isolated, not rewarded.

In his address at the EAS, Modi said, "We need to target not only the terrorists but also their entire supporting ecosystem. And our strongest action should be reserved for those state actors who employ terrorism as an instrument of State policy."

Modi warned that terrorism is the most serious challenge to open and pluralistic societies and underlined that combating the menace requires collective effort.

He said India and most countries in South Asia were pursuing a peaceful path to economic prosperity, but singled out "one" neighbouring country.

"Competing geopolitics, traditional and non-traditional challenges threaten peace, stability and prosperity of region," he said at the summit.

He expressed hope that ASEAN will continue to lead and remain central to efforts aimed at greater regional integration and cooperation.

In his remarks at ASEAN-India Summit, the Prime Minister also said that ASEAN is central to India's Act East policy.

"Our engagement driven by common priorities bringing peace, stability and prosperity to the region," he told the 10-member grouping attended by Heads of state.

Meeting Obama

Modi on Thursday met Obama and discussed the immediate priorities in the strategic bilateral partnership, including strengthening the civil nuclear cooperation and combating climate change.

"Had a great discussion with President of the US (POTUS) on India-USA relations," Modi tweeted after his meeting with Obama on the sidelines of the East Asia Summit, their eighth in the last two years.

"President Obama praised Prime Minister Modi's initiatives to reform the Indian economy. In particular, the US president expressed confidence that the passage of GST will unleash significant economic activity," sources said.

During the meeting, Obama also praised Modi's vision of entrepreneurship and innovation, which he said would be "very important for a country like India".

Obama said that he had always been a friend of India and would continue to be a "strong partner of India and help in any way I can," according to sources.

Both leaders reviewed the immediate priorities in the strategic partnership. They discussed climate change issues and energy cooperation. The two leaders also reviewed progress on Indo-US collaboration in nuclear energy, solar energy and innovation, the sources said.

The meeting was "very warm and friendly", they said.

Modi praised President Obama for his contribution to the relationship and the growing trust between the two countries.

He also invited the US President to visit India after demitting office to which Obama said he would welcome any opportunity to visit India.

On a lighter note, Obama said he and his wife Michelle were yet to see the Taj Mahal. Last year, Obama had cancelled a planned trip to the Taj Mahal, cutting short his visit to India to travel to Saudi Arabia following King Abdullah's death.

This could be the last meeting between Modi and Obama as leaders of the two countries with Obama's second term as US President coming to an end in January next year.

They met for the first time at the White House in September 2014 when Modi travelled to Washington DC at the invitation of Obama.

Modi had also exchanged views with Obama on the sidelines of the G20 summit in China's Hangzhou on Sunday, with the US President praising the "bold policy" move on GST reform in a "difficult" global economic scenario.

(PTI)


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