Thursday, Nov 06, 2003
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By Our Diplomatic Correspondent
"I have said that we have entered Phase-II of our Look East policy, which is both more comprehensive in its coverage, territorially and materially," Mr. Sinha said at a book release function. He also extended this engagement to include New Zealand and Australia.
According to him, if India wanted to pursue its national and international goals, it was imperative that peace prevailed in the region. Any threat to peace from state or non-state actors was a threat to the goal of prosperity "for our people".
"I think there is a consensus within India that this is a goal which should be pursued with single-minded determination. It is for this reason that India seeks peace and it is for this reason that we are cooperating with all in the fight against terrorism," he said.
Mr. Sinha was optimistic that the threat from terrorism would be overcome. "I think the forces which have taken to terrorism will be subdued soon because the fight against terrorism is becoming global."
"There are no doubt differences in perception. These differences in perception are, however, vanishing as more and more terrorist attacks are taking place around the world. Double standards will have to be given up as there is no way the world will be able to deal with terrorism through double standards."
India, he claimed, was clear about its understanding of terrorism. "We do not see terrorism as a clash of civilisations. We do not link terrorism with any religion and it will be a grievous error of understanding to do that," he said, adding that he believed the challenge from terrorism would be "fully met" by the next decade.
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