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Blackwill condemns terrorism against India

July 29, 2003 21:13 IST

Outgoing US Ambassador to India Robert Blackwill on Tuesday condemned terrorism against India and said no religion or political cause could justify these 'merciless acts'.

In his farewell address at a luncheon hosted by FICCI, Blackwill, who leaves for home on Wednesday after a memorable two-year stint, expressed confidence that India and US together would win the war against terrorism.

Voicing grave concern over India's death toll from terrorism, Blackwill said, "No respectable religion could excuse these merciless acts.

"No moral framework could sanction these abominations. No political cause could justify these murders of innocents and yet they go on."

Pointing out to the September 11 terrorist attacks in the US and 'nearly everyday in India', Blackwill said the terrorist outrages against the two countries will not continue indefinitely.

"We know this from the Ramayana, and many other holy books. Good does triumph over evil, although it sometimes takes more time than we would like. We will win the war on terrorism, and the United States and India will win it together -- because we represent good, and terrorists are evil incarnate. God will make it so," he said.

Recalling his first encounter with the 'devastating fact of terrorism against India' ahead of his Senate confirmation hearings in early 2001 through newspaper reports, he said, "India's death toll from terrorism mounted as the snow fell and melted in Cambridge, and New England turned to spring. And I became more and more angry. Innocent human beings murdered as a systemic instrument of twisted political purpose. Terror against India rose and fell with the seasons, year after year after year."

Blackwill, who recalled his journeys across India, said the vale of Kashmir was 'yearning to be again a normal place'.

Referring to his visit to Siachen, the world's highest battlefield and a bone of contention between India and Pakistan, he said, "I recall speaking to jawans on the Siachen. Those men from all over India give new meaning to the word tough."

Blackwill admitted to have been charmed by the 'flowers and forests of Sikkim, the northeast, Kaziranga and the Brahmaputra'.

Kashmiri carpets also won the heart of Blackwill, who assumed charge in India on July 27, 2001.

The US ambassador said his strong views against terrorism were drawn to a considerable extent on the 'white hot anti-terrorist convictions' of President George Bush and on the September 11 attacks on the American homeland.

"But on this subject, like many others, India has left it dominant and enduring imprint on me," he said.

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