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India calls for ‘united action’ against terror

(January 27, New Delhi, Sri Lanka Guardian) Two months after the Mumbai terrorist attack, India on Sunday urged the international community to take decisive and united action against the epi-centre of terrorism in the region.

“The international community must take decisive and united action against terrorism, which poses a grave threat to the stability of the world,” Indian President Pratibha Patil was quoted as saying by the website in her address to the nation on the eve of the Republic Day.

“No country can afford to take an ambivalent attitude in this fight,” Patil said in her all-embracing speech that focused for the most on terrorism and the need to safeguard the country against terrorists and fundamentalists. “Arguments that terrorism is being perpetuated by independent actors are self-defeating and cannot be accepted,” Patil said.

“Countries must own up their responsibilities as must the international community in defeating terrorism,” she said. “The concerted and well-planned attacks in Mumbai stand out as an example of a ruthless operation undertaken to damage the confidence of India. The nation was outraged.

However, contrary to what the terrorists had hoped, the event saw the emergence of a unified and strong voice from India.”

“The government has put in place a new agency to deal with terrorist threats and has also brought in legislative changes. A determined, coordinated and concerted approach by all agencies to tackle this menace would be necessary,” she stressed.

She said the country needed technology which is one up on that used by the terrorists, who were increasingly using sophisticated equipment to carry out their agenda. “As the first woman president of India, there is a natural empathy that I have for the women of our country.

I am conscious about the constraints and difficulties that they face in realizing their full potential. Their empowerment is necessary and that can only come through education and economic development. A woman has a right to live with dignity and a right to be an equal citizen of the country.”
- Sri Lanka Guardian

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