New Delhi: An "aggregate" of state and non-state forces encourages extremism in the Indian subcontinent and "militates" against attempts to create space for peace, Union minister VK Singh on Thursday said.
The Minister of State in the External Affairs termed terrorism as the most immediate and serious security challenge facing modern societies, particularly democratic and pluralistic ones.
He was speaking at Raisina Dialogue - a conclave on geoeconomics and geopolitics - a joint initiative of the Ministry of External Affairs and a leading think-tank.
"Some speakers also brought out that the principal terror threat from the viewpoint of countries like India emanates mainly from ideological, logistical and financial infrastructure that exists across our borders.
"It is this aggregate of state and non-state forces that encourages extremism in the subcontinent, indoctrinates youth into violent acts, and militates against our attempts to create space for peace," he said.
Singh said that "connectivity" was the key to ensuring a stable future for Asia and for the world at large and that it is critical not just for ensuring economic growth but also has "implications" for security of Asia and beyond.
"Absence of a well-developed over-arching security architecture in Asia makes this even more important, as is the heterogeneous geography and dynamic nature of evovling power balances in the region.
"For instance, our approach to maritime security, as captured in the acronym SAGAR or Security and Growth for all in the Region stresses the need to pool capacities of the littoral states to jointly fight common threats while respecting each other's security and economic concerns and interests," he said.
Speaking on democratic ethos, he said the fact that India has been able to preserve its democratic polity despite our developmental challenges and despite being situated in a strategically challenging region, "is a testimony to our commitment to political pluralism and freedom of opinion".