Terrorist can be from any section of society, says Harish Rawat



New Delhi: Voicing concern over "innocent" Muslim youths lodged in prisons without a trial, Union minister Harish Rawat on Friday said "law cannot have different yardsticks".

Observing that terrorism has no religion, Rawat said all organisations, including right-wing outfits, which indulge in terror activities should be condemned in the same spirit.

Addressing a conference on 'India and Muslim World in the 21st century,' the Water Resources minister sought to take a dig at Opposition BJP, saying people do not entertain slogans of "building a temple".

"The slogan of building a temple...People are not entertaining such slogans. More Indians are speaking against communal forces. They know it is an impediment to development," he said.

Talking about findings of the Sachar Committee report, Rawat said it was the collective responsibility of citizens to find a solution to problems facing the society.

"We should do our part to find the reasons why the Muslim community is lagging behind. The government has taken steps to address the situation but more needs to be done," he added.

On terrorism, he said: "A terrorist can be from any section," and drew his attention to Muslim youths languishing in jail without trial.

"We feel for those innocent youths. The law of the land cannot have different yardsticks," Rawat said while addressing the gathering. Minority Affairs Minister K Rehman Khan stressed on the need for "good relations" between India and the Muslim world.

"We can be good partners for economic development...While we still face problems like poverty and unemployment, India is still an emerging power. The Muslim world is blessed with oil wealth. We should come together for the good of humanity," Khan added.

Echoing his views, Abdul Rahman Ghannam M AlGhannam, the Undersecretary at Ministry of Islamic Affairs of Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, also applauded India for its good relations with the Arab world.

"Like India, Saudi Arabia also believes in peaceful co-existence. We have a long legacy of relations and cooperation on issues of social and political relevance," he said.

The conference organised by Institute of Objective Studies, featuring speakers from across the world, will continue for two days.

PTI