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Target terror-midwife Pak

New Delhi, Feb. 11: Pakistan’s strategy of supporting “non-state combatants” to target secular societies has yielded no gains in Kashmir, deputy Prime Minister L.K. Advani said at the valedictory function of the two-day International Youth Conference on Terrorism.

Using the new term to describe jihadis, Advani said in his concluding speech: “Non-state combatants cannot sustain their campaign for too long without the active support of states that believe, to whatever degree, in the ideology of jihad to settle political disputes.” In India’s case, such active support to non-state combatants is coming from the Pakistan, he added.

The deputy Prime Minister accused Pakistan of “midwifing” a jihadi state in Afghanistan. “As far as Pakistan was concerned, the Taliban regime in Afghanistan was a low-cost force multiplier,” Advani said, adding that they thought it was a cost worth paying.

The world today is facing a historic struggle between democratic and despotic forces, a struggle that has manifested itself in different ways in different eras. If in the 18th, 19th and 20th century, despotism was manifest in colonialism and fascism, in the post-colonial period, in the form of communist dictatorship, its latest avatar is jihadi terrorism, Advani said.

This ideology, according to him, hates the concept of democracy, secularism, multiculturalism and individual freedom. India has been waging war against cross-border terrorism on its own.

Even after September 11, India’s resolve is to continue the war on its own and win a decisive victory over the forces of terrorism, Advani said.

The deputy Prime Minister said India was for a dialogue with Pakistan, but only on the condition that it stops aiding and abetting terrorists.

Advani asked youth organisations of the world to combat “negative forces” and work actively to channel their energy for realisation of positive ends.

“Differences between India and Pakistan should be resolved through dialogue and not by resorting to any kind of war, covert or overt. There should be a dialogue to bridge the gap, but peace should not be held hostage by violence,” the deputy Prime Minister said.

The conference, inaugurated by Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee yesterday, adopted a New Delhi Declaration for Youth against Terrorism supported by 193 foreign delegates. The declaration was moved by G. Kishan Reddy, president of the BJP’s youth wing which organised the conference.

Delegates from 55 countries attended the conference.

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