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India seeks 'sincerity' from nations in war on terror

Sagar Kulkarni in Dhaka | February 09, 2009 19:35 IST

In an apparent reference to Pakistan, India on Monday said hurdles in the global war against terror are created by "unwillingness" or lack of "sincerity" on part of countries and any "architecture or framework" does not "stand in the way" of fighting the menace.

External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee [Images], on a day-long visit to Dhaka, discussed the concept of setting up a regional taskforce to fight terror during meetings with his Bangladesh counterpart Dipu Moni and Home Minister Sahara Khatun.

"Architecture or framework does not stand in the way of fighting against terrorism, whatever it is -- bilateral, regional or multilateral," he said at a joint press conference with Moni.

"But if there is inability, incapability or unwillingness to tackle with the problem and fight against terrorism as a global issue, then the problem comes," Mukherjee said.

"There is no conflict between the regional architecture and within the regional architecture, the bilateral architecture. What is more important is the sincerity to fight against the menace of terrorism," he said.

Mukherjee's remarks come at a time when India has reservations regarding the success of the Joint Anti-Terror Mechanism it has with Pakistan. New Delhi [Images] believes that Islamabad [Images] is not sincere enough in tackling terrorism emanating from Pakistani soil.

Mukherjee said an area of concern for India and Bangladesh is to combat the growing menace of extremism and terrorism in the region.

"Closer cooperation on security issues is the need of the hour. We should move to address such issues with the understanding that both our countries will benefit in the long run," he said.

Moni said during her meeting with Mukherjee she shared the idea of a South Asian Task Force to combat terrorism and explored the possibilities of both the countries joining hands in the endeavour.

"We will be having dialogue with our regional neighbours and will find out modalities on how best we can cooperate in combating terrorism," she said.

On the issue of north-east insurgency, Moni said she would reiterate the Bangladesh government's firm stand against "letting anyone, whoever it is from whichever country, having whatever links with anyone to use our territory to harm any one in the region or anywhere else."

"If we have concrete information we would be vigilant about this and if they have any information regarding this, we will act on it," the Bangladesh Foreign Minister said.

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