Terrorism and radicalisation are the “gravest threats” to peace and security in the world and a collective approach is required to combat the challenges, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh said on Wednesday.
In a virtual address at the ASEAN Defence Ministers’ Meeting-Plus (ADMM-Plus), Singh also highlighted India’s concerns over maritime security challenges while noting that developments in the South China Sea attracted attention in the region and beyond, an oblique reference to China’s aggressive behaviour in the critical waterways.
The defence minister called for ensuring a free, open and inclusive order in the Indo-Pacific based on respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity of nations, peaceful resolution of disputes through dialogue and adherence to international rules and laws.
Delving into the coronavirus crisis, Singh said India is just emerging from a second wave of the infection that pushed the country’s medical response to the “limit” and called for a concerted global approach like making available patent-free vaccines, unhindered supply chains and ensuring greater medical capacities to defeat the pandemic.
Referring to the threat of terror networks, Singh called for strong action against those encouraging, supporting and financing terrorism and providing shelter to terrorists, remarks seen as directed at Pakistan.
“Terrorism and radicalisation are the gravest threats to peace and security that the world is facing today,” he said.