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India rallies behind Russia

New Delhi, Oct. 24: India today rallied behind Russia in condemning the hostage crisis in Moscow, but did not miss the opportunity to say that terrorism — be it in Chechnya or in Kashmir — could not flourish without the support and assistance of “outside forces”.

Delhi argued that the latest incident in Russia was yet another instance that showed why the international community has to take “firm and decisive” steps against states and individuals which render “support, harbour, finance, instigate or train terrorists or promote terrorism”.

Although neither Kashmir nor Pakistan was named, the hint towards its hostile western neighbour as one of the “outside forces” which support terrorists and allows it to flourish was clear in Delhi’s statement this afternoon while condemning the Moscow hostage crisis.

“The Indian government and the its people resolutely condemn the terrorist act in Moscow,” the statement, issued by the foreign ministry, said.

It denounced this cowardly act of terrorism directed against a friendly state.

Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee is likely to write to President Vladimir Putin within the next few days condemning the act. Russia — not only a traditional ally of India — was one of the first countrys to openly condemn the terrorist attack at the Swaminarayan temple in Gujarat last month.

The alacrity with which India came out with a statement showed that it too, did not want to lose time to show support in Russia’s hour of crisis.

“India expresses its deep sympathy and solidarity with the government and people of the Russian federation and supports all efforts being made by the Russian authorities to restore law and order and secure the release of innocent people,” the foreign ministry statement read out by its spokesperson Navtej Sarna said.

Sarna added that the two countries have made a commitment to fight terrorism in the Moscow declaration signed between Vajpayee and Putin last year.

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