Terror incidents call for world to come together: Sushma Swaraj

New Delhi : The Sydney cafe hostage crisis and the Peshawar school horror are a call to the world to stand up and counter terror together, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj Wednesday said.

Making a statement on the two terror attacks in both houses of parliament, Sushma Swaraj said though both the incidents are seemingly “disparate” in nature, they are a call to join hands to “comprehensively and decisively defeat terrorism”.

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The Pakistani Taliban slaughtered 141 people, 132 of them children, in a brazen terror attack on an army-run school in Pakistan’s Peshawar city Tuesday. In Australia, a 16-hour hostage crisis ended early Tuesday after police stormed a cafe in the heart of Sydney where an Iran-born cleric had taken 17 people, including two Indians, hostage.

The minister said: “The events of the last two days were on two different continents, in different hemispheres, on our two opposite flanks. While seemingly disparate, both are manifestations of the darkening shadow of terrorism”.

“Both these developments, taken together, are a clarion call for all those who believe in humanity to join hands to decisively and comprehensively defeat terrorism. On our part, India stands ready to play its role in this global endeavour,” she added.

“Once again, terrorism raised its ugly head Dec 15, 2014, when an armed person held 17 people hostage in Sydney, Australia. At about 0945 hrs local time, in Lindt Cafe in Martin Place, a busy part of Sydney’s Central Business District, a hostage drama unfolded. The hostages included Mr. Pushpendu Ghosh and Mr. Viswakanta Ankireddy, both young IT professionals from Infosys working on an assignment with Westpac Bank located close to the Cafe. While Mr Ghosh is an Indian citizen, Mr. Ankireddy is an Australian national of Indian origin,” she informed the two houses.

The minister added that the government maintained close contact with Australian security agencies to monitor the security of Ghosh and Ankireddy.

“The prime minister himself was constantly monitoring the whole situation,” she said adding that both were rescued safely.

“Even before the reverberations from the terrorist attack in Sydney to our East ended, one of the most horrific killings in recent times were perpetrated on our west, in Peshawar. The enormity of this crime, the cowardly nature of the massacre, the barbaric brutality of the killing of 132 innocent school children and 9 others, yesterday (Tuesday), have evoked revulsion all around,” said the minister.

“The prime minister in a late night conversation with Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif informed him that the people of India shared the heart-rending pain and sorrow of the bereaved families and the people of Pakistan and stood with them in solidarity,” Sushma Swaraj added.