No selective approaches to fighting terror: PM

No selective approaches to fighting terror: PM United Nations: Pitching strongly for an "unrelenting" fight against terrorism, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Saturday said there cannot be "selective approaches" in dealing with the scourge that needed to be fought across all fronts.

Addressing the UN General Assembly here, he noted that terrorism continues to rear its ugly head and take a grievous toll on innocent lives.


"Developing countries need a peaceful external environment to grow," Singh told the world leaders assembled for the annual meet.

"The fight against terrorism must be unrelenting. There cannot be selective approaches in dealing with terrorist groups or the infrastructure of terrorism. Terrorism has to be fought across all fronts," he said.

While delving upon the continued threat posed by terrorism, the Prime Minister referred to the assassination of Afghan President Burhanuddin Rabbani and said it was a "chilling reminder of the designs of the enemies of peace" in Afghanistan.

He said it was essential that the process of nation- building and reconciliation in Afghanistan succeeds, which was vital for enduring peace and security in the region.

"India will play its part in helping the people of Afghanistan to build a better future for themselves, just as we are doing in other countries in South Asia," he said, adding, "We will do so because prosperity and stability in our region are indivisible."

Movement for democracy

In the midst of controversies raging over the issue of "interventions" in the trouble spots of the Middle East, Singh said the observance of the rule of law is as important in international affairs as it is within countries.

"Societies cannot be reordered from outside through military force. People in all countries have the right to choose their own destiny and decide their own future," the Prime Minister said.

The international community, he said, has a role to play in assisting in the processes of transition and institution building but the idea that prescriptions have to be imposed from outside is fraught with danger.

"Actions taken under the authority of the United Nations must respect the unity, territorial integrity, sovereignty and independence of individual states," he said.

On South Asia and India

In South Asia, he said, there are encouraging signs of cooperation in the area of security as exemplified in India's cooperation with Bangladesh. Such cooperation is adding to the security of both our countries.

Singh said in the last few decades India has lifted tens of millions of its people out of abject poverty. "We are in a position to feed our population better, to educate them better and to widen their economic choices. But we still have a very long way to go," he said.

The Prime Minister said India would wish to quicken the pace of its transformation in partnership with the international community.

Singh said a fast-growing India can expand the boundaries for the global economy, and a plural and secular India can contribute to tolerance and peaceful co-existence among nations.

Singh said developing countries need investment, technology and market access for their products. They need assistance in the areas of education, health, women's empowerment and agriculture.

He said during the recently-held fourth UN-Least Developed Countries (LDCs) Conference, India has strengthened its partnership with the LDCs through significantly enhanced lines of credit and assistance in capacity building.

The Prime Minister said the perspectives that he had outlined today were the ones that guided India's actions in the Security Council since India became a non-permanent member of the Council in January this year.