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Preachers of hate threatening society: PM in Nairobi

July 11, 2016 20:24 IST


Amid the expanding footprint of Islamic State across the world, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday warned that "preachers of hate and violence" are threatening the fabric of the society and asked the youth to build a counter narrative to extremist ideologies.

He also emphasised that those giving shelter to terrorists and using them as political instruments must be condemned, an apparent reference to Pakistan.

Addressing the students at the University of Nairobi, Modi pitched for a world free from terror and hate, saying safety and security of people and societies is essential for realising the benefits of the economic progress.

"Preachers of hate and violence are threatening the fabric of our society," he said.

Underlining the need to counter radicalisation, he said "Youth can play an important role in building a counter narrative to extremist ideologies."

His comments assume significance in view of the expanding footprint of IS terror group, which is particularly attracting the youth through a campaign of radicalisation.

A recent case in point was the attack in Bangladesh some days back at a cafe by a group of six educated youth in which 22 people, mostly foreigners, were killed.

Some of these six attackers were allegedly influenced by the controversial Indian Muslim preacher Zakir Naik, who gives sermons on a TV channel.

Apprehensions of some Indian youth getting attracted towards the IS is also gaining ground with 15 youngsters from Kerala going missing mysteriously. The prime minister, while speaking about developmental strides, said, "A steady march towards our economic goals is indeed a priority. But, we also cannot ignore the safety of our people."

"We must be equally condemning of those who give shelter to terrorists and use them as political instruments," the prime minister said, in an apparent reference to Pakistan where anti-India terror groups like Lashkar-e-Tayiba and Jaish-e-Mohammad are based and carry out strikes in India with the support of Pakistani establishment.

"Terrorism knows no boundaries, no religion, no race and no values," Modi asserted.

Turning to maritime security, he said there is a need to stand guard against sea-borne threats. He also pressed the need for ensuring that piracy does not affect the movements in the maritime area and that freedom of navigation is ensured for all.

Pitching for closer security cooperation with Kenya and other African countries connected with India by the Indian Ocean, he said the eastern coast of Africa is facing challenges.

"Coastal security is a matter of deeper engagement," he said, while asking Africa to ensure that its safety is not compromised.

Talking about cooperation with Kenya, he said India is ready to share its experiences and expertise in diversified areas like telecom, agriculture, energy and IT.

"As you march towards your destiny, you will find in India a trusted and reliable partner," he told the Kenyans.  

Expressing keenness to forge a lasting partnership with Kenya, Modi said there are enough opportunities in the 21st century for cooperation, not only for the common good of the people of the two countries but the world at large.

"We trade more than ever before. But we must explore ways of working together in more areas," he said, while identifying manufacturing as one of the sectors in this regard.

Talking about "India's rise", the prime minister said it was happening because of its 800 million youth. "I am one of them," quipped Modi who said he was like a 20-year-old at "heart".

He said his government is targeting to create 500 million new jobs by 2020, which is "not possible without reposing faith in the youth".

Modi, who offered floral tributes at a statue of Mahatma Gandhi which had been installed in the University complex exactly 60 years ago, spoke about the centuries-old ties between India and Kenya and said these need to be taken forward.

"Both India and Kenya are flourishing democracies. Both want peace and prosperity of our people," he said, adding the two countries have been bonded by such values.

Praising the Indian diaspora in Kenya, he said the Persons of Indian Origin are treated as the 43rd tribe in this country which has 42 tribes.

IMAGE: Prime Minister Narendra Modi signing the visitors' book at the State House in Nairobi, Kenya The President of Kenya Uhuru Kenyatta is also seen. Photograph: PIB
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