India to ‘engage more closely’ with world in countering terror


New Delhi : With growing disappointment over Pakistan’s inaction against terrorism as the backdrop, India Monday said it would “engage more closely” with the global community in dealing with terrorism and underlined its keenness to resolve outstanding issues with its neighbours.

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In his first interaction with the diplomatic corps in the Indian capital since assuming office nearly a fortnight ago, External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna underscored India’s pursuit of an independent and non-aligned foreign policy of peace and development that befits its stature as a responsible power.

Placing India’s foreign policy in the larger context of national goals, Krishna said the government was committed to “all-round, inclusive growth” and stressed that “a peaceful extended neighbourhood and a supportive international environment” were essential to achieving this overarching objective.

“India, as a responsible power, does and will engage actively with the world, while pursuing an independent and non-aligned foreign policy of peace and development, as well as strengthening her strategic autonomy,” Krishna told the assembled diplomats at Hyderabad House here.

“As we do so, we will continue to focus on addressing the challenges of technological self-reliance, food and energy security,” he said.

“We will engage more closely with the global community and all our partners to deal with international terrorism, which threatens us all,” Krishna said.

Krishna’s remarks came nearly a week after a Pakistan court released Jamaat-ud-Dawa chief Hafiz Saeed, the suspected mastermind of 26/11 Mumbai carnage, eliciting condemnation from India, the US and France.

Reacting to Saeed’s release, New Delhi had said it showed Islamabad’s lack of seriousness in acting against the Mumbai terrorists.

The interaction with diplomats is also seen as part of New Delhi’s efforts to mobilise international pressure on Pakistan to act against the perpetrators of the Mumbai attacks and to dismantle the infrastructure of terrorism.

The minister also underlined the vision of an interconnected prosperous South Asia and exhorted neighbours to see a “prosperous and economically vibrant India” as “an asset and opportunity for our region”.

“India has an abiding interest in the stability and prosperity of our neighbours. We also believe that a prosperous and economically vibrant India is an asset and opportunity for our region,” he said.

“We will also work with our neighbours to ensure that outstanding issues are addressed and the full potential of our region is realised,” Krishna underlined.

He also stressed on India’s desire to deepen relations with leading global players like the US, Russia and the European Union and reiterated New Delhi’s commitment to expand multi-faceted ties with West Asia, East Asia, Africa and Latin America.