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December 15, 2001
1510 IST

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PM blasts state sponsors of terrorism

Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee on Saturday came down heavily on the sponsors of terrorism in India's neighbourhood and expressed shock that even schools meant for religious education had been turned into "factories of terror".

"It is shocking that its (terrorism's) promoters in our neighbourhood have turned even some schools meant for religious education into factories of terror," Vajpayee said, while speaking at the annual Convocation of the Visva-Bharati in Kolkata.

Vajpayee regretted that attempts were being made to justify acts of terrorism in the name of religion, although "no religion sanctions hatred and violence".

In this context, Vajpayee referred to the dastardly terrorist attack on Parliament on December 13 and warned those behind it saying that India could not be cowed down.

"Those behind the dastardly attack on our Parliament should know that India's democracy and its people cannot be cowed down by their terror," the prime minister said

"Those regimes that seek to promote their untenable goals by sponsoring terror are doomed in the face of the collective will of the international community."

Referring to religious fundamentalism, Vajpayee likened the December 13 attack on Parliament to the September 11 terrorist strikes in the US.

Pointing out that misconceived advocacy of sectional interests had even resulted in hatred and violence of the most horrendous kind, Vajpayee said it had even been made into a matter of state policy by some regimes.

"This is what the world has been witnessing in recent times in the form of terrorism."

Vajpayee called for a multi-frontal strategy to counter terrorism saying, "The phenomenon of terrorism has many dimensions and the strategy to counter it will have to be implemented across many fronts."

PTI

Complete Coverage: The Attack on Parliament

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