Asserting that the problem of terrorism in India was imported, President Pranab Mukherjee has said indigenous terrorist activity was “extremely negligible” with hardly any involvement of the 150 million Muslims of the country.
“Of course there may be one or two out of hundred fifty million but all of these are imported. These are coming from outside. Indigenous terrorist activity in India is extremely negligible and whenever such signs are visible we take appropriate steps,” he said in interviews to the Norwegian media ahead of his two-day state visit to Norway.
Mukherjee said terrorism has no respect for religion or borders with any ideology or their only ideology is wanton destruction and total negation of human values.
“Nobody should say terrorism indulged by A is good and terrorism indulged by B is bad. Good terrorists, bad terrorists – these types of classification, to my mind, are meaningless,” Mukherjee said.
The president said the country has been fortunate as hardly any among the 150 million Muslims – second largest population after Indonesia – indulges in terrorism.
He said terrorism must be fought and should not be indulged in any form. “That is the only way you can handle the terrorism,” he said.
On the question of recent violence on the Indo-Pak border and Line of Control, Mukherjee said the foreign minister would be the right person to answer this and added that stated policy on the issue is we can select our friends but cannot select our neighbors.
“In my capacity as the foreign minister serving India twice, I used to articulate that I cannot live in perpetual tension with my neighbor. I would like to ease the tensions.
“But at the same time, it is to be recognized that there have been a series of developments since independence and partition of these countries,” he said.
Mukherjee said there are two institutional treaties – Shimla Agreement of 1972 and Lahore Declaration of 1999 which can provide the mechanism through which outstanding issues could be resolved.