Terrorism should be tackled with one yardstick: Swaraj

Identifying the scourge of terrorism as a major challenge for countries of the Asia Pacific region, India on Sunday sought concrete action in dealing with it and said the menace should be tackled resolutely with one yardstick.

PTI| Last Updated: Aug 10, 2014, 19:35 PM IST

Nay Pyi Taw:Identifying the scourge of terrorism as a major challenge for countries of the Asia Pacific region, India on Sunday sought concrete action in dealing with it and said the menace should be tackled resolutely with one yardstick.

In her address at the 21st ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) meeting here, Swaraj also asked international community to support Afghanistan as it was going through a delicate transition.

"We must address this scourge resolutely and with one yardstick. Our commitments must be translated into concrete action against individuals and groups involved in terrorist acts. Terrorists should not find sanctuary and support in any ARF member state," Swaraj said.

"At this time of a delicate transition, the international community must support Afghanistan to preserve the progress it has made in the last decade against terrorism and related threats to its national wellbeing. India remains committed to assisting Afghanistan in building its capacity for democratic governance, security and economic development," she said.

On disputes relating to the South China Sea, which dominated discussions in the ARF as well as East Asia Summit Foreign Ministers Meeting, Swaraj said the recent developments in the South China Sea underscore the need to resolve sovereignty issues peacefully by the countries concerned in accordance with international law.

"India opposes the use or threat of use of force and supports freedom of navigation and access to resources in accordance with principles of international law, including the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea. These principles should be respected by all," the External Affairs Minister said.

"We have noted that the parties concerned are engaged in discussions to address the issue, and we hope that progress will be made with respect to implementation of Guidelines to the 2002 Declaration of Conduct on the South China Sea and the adoption of a Code of Conduct on the basis of consensus," she said.

Fresh standoff started recently when China deployed a deep sea oil rig into waters close to the Paracel Islands, which, Vietnam, says belong to it.

India`s ONGC Videsh (OVL) has operations in oil blocks in hydrocarbon-rich South China Sea. China has been objecting to India`s oil exploration projects in the disputed waters.

Brunei, the Philippines and Vietnam have been making territorial claims over parts of the South China Sea which was rejected by China. China`s growing activities in the disputed waters have escalated the tensions.