Religion should be delinked from terror, says PM Modi in Malaysia

PM Modi underlined the need for ensuring that Internet does not become a "recruiting ground" for terrorism.

PTI| Updated: Nov 23, 2015, 01:10 AM IST
PlayReligion should be delinked from terror, says PM Modi in Malaysia

Kuala Lumpur: Describing terrorism as the "biggest threat" to the world, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday said it needs to be delinked from religion as he pressed for a united global fight to ensure that no country provides sanctuary to terror, an apparent reference to Pakistan.

He underlined the need for ensuring that Internet does not become a "recruiting ground" for terrorism, amid the growing trend of ISIS luring youth from across the globe, and spoke about the world coming together to use "military force" and "international legal systems" to fight the menace.

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Addressing the Indian diaspora on the second day of his three-day visit to Malaysia, Modi said India draws strength from its diversity and that his government is working to create an environment where enterprise flourishes and everybody gets basic needs like roof, sanitation, water, health care and education.

In his 45-minute speech at the cInternational Exhibition and Convention Centre here, he said development in India is "gathering speed now" amid the global slowdown and the country is growing at 7.5 per cent with faster growth expected in the coming years.

Talking about terrorism, he said it is the "biggest threat to the world today. It knows no boundaries. It uses the name of religion to draw people to its cause but kills people of all faiths."

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He went on to add: "We have to delink religion from terror. The only distinction is between those who believe in humanity and who does not.... We also have to work within the society, specially the youth."

Pitching for a united global fight against terrorism, the Prime Minister said it should be ensured that "no country promotes terrorism, there is no sanctuary, there is funds and there is no arms."

Pushing for enhanced intelligence cooperation among countries, he said it has to be ensured that "Internet does not become a recruiting ground" for terrorism.

"I have said it earlier, I will say it again. The world must come together to combat the biggest challenge of our times....We can strengthen intelligence cooperation, we can use military force, we can make international legal systems for making cooperation stronger," he said.

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Modi also made some announcements like grant of USD one million to the India-students Trust Fund for financial assistance to Malay-Indian students and naming of India's cultural centre here after Subhas Chandra Bose.

He said a bust of Mahatma Gandhi will also be installed at the Gandhi Memorial Hall in Kuala Lumpur. He added that India will work with Malaysian government for setting up of war memorial for the Indian soldiers at the site of Battle of Kampar in Perak in Malaysia.

The Prime Minister also favoured immediate recognition of of the degrees conferred by India and Malaysia and said he will discuss this issue with his counterpart Najib during the meeting tomorrow.

While mentioning about merger of OCI and PIO cards, he said minor children, who are foreign nationals, and foreign spouses can also get OCI status now. Besides, Indian-origin upto fourth generation is enough for OCI now.

Modi said the Indian government has also introduced e-visa that has made travel simpler.

"In Malaysia, we have opened nine visa collection centres. There is an eMigrate portal to make it easier and safer for workers to go to certain countries. It also alerts officials about foreign employers with cases pending against them," he said.

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Telling the diaspora about his government's work, Modi said, "The wheels of change have begun to move. And, they are gathering speed now. And, it is showing in numbers."

He said India is today the fastest growing major economy in the world. "I know you feel proud about it. We are running at 7.5 per cent per year, but will grow even faster in the coming years," he said.

The Prime Minister said every major global institution has "placed its bets on India growing strongly. This is at a time when the rest of the world, including parts of this region, is experiencing a slowdown."