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PM flays selective approach to terrorism

M Shakeel Ahmed in Ankara | September 16, 2003 22:09 IST

Describing international terrorism as a 'global monster', Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee on Tuesday flayed the 'selective approach' and differing standards of some countries in combating the menace.

He also dismissed the Western belief that Islam was a source of terrorism.

We cannot afford selective approaches which sacrifice the long-term interests. Differing standards cannot be applied for judging terrorism," he said in a wide-ranging interview with Turkish daily News.

Vajpayee expressed concern over the situation in Iraq, regrouping of Taliban in Afghanistan and dismissed suggestions that India had abandoned the Palestinians for Israel.

"International terrorism is today a global monster which knows no national boundaries or territorial limits of operations," he said. "It exploits the openness and freedom of democratic societies. It uses modern technologies and unorthodox techniques to achieve its destructive objectives."

The menace of terrorism could be countered only by global, united and comprehensive effort, he added.

About tendency in the West to subscribe to the view that Islam was a source of terrorism, Vajpayee said, "We totally dismiss the proposition that any religion is a source of terrorism. Such arguments seek to discredit one of the great religions of the world."

"No religion prescribes violence against innocent people. Our battle is against extremist elements who misuse and misinterpret religion to justify terrorism and incite violence," he said.

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