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No cause can justify terror, says PM
S.S. Negi
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, November 25
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh today said his government was committed to dealing firmly with terrorism, posing the biggest threat to international peace and economic development, while expressing serious concern over growing links between terror outfits and the underworld mafia engaged in organised crimes.

Though the government was willing to talk to any disaffected group preparing to “abjure violence”, yet Dr Singh at the same time said the government “stands firmly committed to enforcing zero tolerance to terrorism within the framework of the existing legal system”.

“Terrorism has emerged as one of the most serious threats to international peace… It also poses a serious danger to the economic stability of any civilised society, subverts the financial environment for growth and deprives ordinary men and women of their basic needs, and even livelihood… a matter of extreme concern is their (terrorists’) linkage with organised crime, like drug trafficking, gunrunning, counterfeit currency and money laundering,” he said.

However, he cautioned against the growing tendency of blaming an entire community for the acts of terrorism involving “fringe elements”, saying that terrorists neither had any religion nor any faith.

He, however, cautioned security agencies to act with utmost care to ensure that no innocent citizen was harmed or harassed. “Terrorists do not belong to any community. No community or religion should be blamed for irresponsible and violent acts of a few individuals. Terrorists have to be dealt with as terrorist per se,” the Prime Minister said.

He was addressing a national conference on “Terrorism, law and development” on the eve of Law Day and presented the National Law Day Award for 2006 to eminent jurists at a function, which was attended by Home Minister Shivraj Patil, Law Minister H.R. Bharadwaj, Minister of State K. Venkatapathy, former CJIs Ranganath Mishra and R.C. Lahoti and Attorney-General Milon Banerjee.

The Prime Minister expressed concern over the insurgency in some parts of the country, but said “our response has to be clear and purposive” to it while pursuing development and empowering all sections of society.

Emphasising on improving the law and order and the justice delivery system, especially to deal with acts of terrorism and organised crimes, Dr Singh said, “No cause, real or imaginary, can ever justify pursuit of violence. No democratic government can tolerate targeted killing of innocent citizens.”

Maintaining the rule of law was closely linked to prosperity and development, and any act of mindless violence not only posed a threat to peace but was also a major stumbling block for sustained development. Asking leaders of all communities to isolate fringe elements bent upon disturbing peace, the Prime Minister said, “The future prosperity and well-being of our nation and all our citizens lies in maintaining peace and communal harmony in the country.”

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