Sunday, November 11, 2001, Chandigarh, India

National Capital Region--Delhi


M A I N   N E W S

Vajpayee for total war against terrorism
Hari Jaisingh

United Nations, November 10
Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee today called for a total war against terrorism which is sought to be justified with “self serving” arguments of ideology, religion and politics.

Addressing the 56th session of the United Nations General Assembly here, Mr Vajpayee sought strict curbs on financing terrorists and denying safe havens for training, arming and operations.

The Prime Minister apparently had in mind Pakistan’s dubious role in instigating terrorism. During his speech in Hindi, Mr Vajpayee refrained from naming Pakistan as the root cause for terrorism in Jammu and Kashmir.

Describing the UN Security Council Resolutions 1368 and 1373 as “steps in the right direction”, Mr Vajpayee said it required “firm political will of the freedom loving world to implement them rigorously.”

Mr Vajpayee made a pointed reference to India’s own bitter experience of how terrorism had developed global networks driven by religious extremism. He asked the world community to counter these sinister designs and machinations by closely coordinated efforts.

Referring to the traditionally close links with Afghanistan, he pointed out that India could play a useful role in facilitating the post-Taliban arrangement in Kabul. Simultaneously, in the task of reconstruction of post-conflict Afghanistan the world community must provide special assistance by way of massive external assistance.

“India is ready to join any global effort in this direction,” he said.

Mr Vajpayee said in the current regime of globalisation, sustainable development had to be strengthened. “The whole thing had to be re-engineered to generate large scale resources for poverty alleviation.”

Drawing from his speech to the US Congress last year, he stressed upon the imperative need for a comprehensive global dialogue. “The aim of such a dialogue would be to address the highly unstable situation in which one-third of the world population lives in luxury and condemns the remaining two-thirds to poverty and want. It is a fertile breeding ground for political unrest, economic chaos and social fractures.”

Mr Vajpayee offered India’s good offices in coordinating this dialogue with the immediate objective of mobilising resources for poverty alleviation programmes in the developing countries.

He outlined a four-point preliminary agenda for the dialogue.

He listed these as:

* The accelerated liquidation of external debts of low income and highly-indebted countries;

* Poverty alleviation programmes especially aimed at developing countries facing financial crises;

* Stabilisation of international prices of primary commodity exports; and

* Welfare and development programmes for all the world’s needy children for their nutrition, health, education, and protection from degrading and hazardous employment.

Mr Vajpayee observed that the struggle for equitable development and the war against poverty “are as important as our campaign against terrorism and our collective search for security. At a time when an external stimulus has motivated us to unite against terrorism and for security, let us summon an equally strong inner resolve for development and poverty alleviation.”

He quoted Rabindranath Tagore: “From now onward, any nation that takes an isolated view of its own interests will run contrary to the spirit of the New Age and will know no peace.”Back


It’s time for action: Bush

United Nations, November 10
President George W. Bush, in his first appearance before the UN General Assembly today, asked for action in the US-led war on terrorism instead of sympathy for the September 11 attacks.

“The time for sympathy has now passed. The time for action has now arrived,” Mr Bush told 48 Presidents and Prime Ministers and 114 Foreign Ministers at the opening of the annual gathering in New York.

He said the threat of terrorism was global, and warned that those behind the September 11 attacks in the USA might use chemical, biological or nuclear weapons.

“As we meet, the terrorists are planning more murder, perhaps in my country or perhaps in yours,” he said in a speech here meant to spur action in the war against terrorism.

“Few countries meet their exacting standards of brutality and oppression. Every other country is a potential target, and the world faces the most horrifying prospect of all: these terrorists are searching for weapons of mass destruction,” he said. Reuters, AFPBack

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