In a sharp attack on Pakistan, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday accused it of creating “nuisance” and “constantly” troubling India by promoting terrorism.
The Prime Minister’s sharp criticism came during the course of his address at the Bangabandhu International Convention Centre in Dhaka when he vowed to jointly combat with Bangladesh terrorism in the region.
“Pakistan aaye din (constantly) disturbs India, jo naako dum la deta hai (creates nuisance), terrorism ko badhawa (deta hai)…ki ghatnaayein ghatthi rehti hain (promotes terrorism and such incidents keep recurring),” Modi said in his address to Dhaka University.
However, Prime Minister Narendra Modi praised his Bangladeshi counterpart Sheikh Hasina’s courage to fight terrorism despite being a woman and her bold stand against the menace by declaring “zero tolerance” towards it.
“We know solution for everything, but not terrorism. I am happy that Bangladesh Prime Minister, despite being a woman, has declared zero tolerance for terrorism,” the Prime Minister said in his hour-long address to Dhaka University.
He said terrorism is an enemy of humanity, and therefore all humanitarian forces had to unite to fight it.
Modi and Hasina expressed their commitment to cooperate with each other by sharing information about groups and persons indulging in terrorism.
Recalling that 90,000 Pakistani prisoners of war were in India’s captivity during the 1971 Bangladesh Liberation War, Modi said, “if we had a diabolic mindset, we don’t know then what decision we would have taken.”
“Terrorism has no boundaries. India has been troubled by it for the last 40 years. So many innocent people have died and what did those associated with terrorism gain and what have they given to the world…terrorism has no values, no principles, no traditions and it has only one motive and that is enmity against humanity,” he said.
In his address, the Prime Minister came out strongly against expansionism, saying there is no place for it in today’s world.
“The World has changed, there was a time when may be expansionism was used to be the symbol of a country’s power as to which one is expanding how much and reaching which place . . . but times have changed. Now in this era there is no place for expansionism and the world wants development not expansionism and this is the basic vision.
Making a strong pitch for reforms of the UN and its Security Council, Modi said India has still not got a permanent seat in the UNSC.
“India is a country which never fought to gain land. 75,000 Indian soldiers had sacrificed their lives for others in the First World War, and 90,000 in the Second World War,” he said.
The Prime Minister also referred to India’s role in peacekeeping operations across the world, noting that Indian soldiers had fought alongside ‘Mukti Jodhas’ (freedom fighters) as well for Bangladesh.
“Yet India has still not got a permanent seat on the UN Security Council,” Modi said.
The Prime Minister said that the return of Pakistani PoWs itself should have been enough to convince the world that India should get a permanent seat in the UNSC.
On the settlement of the 41-year-old land boundary dispute by swapping of documents regarding the Land Boundary Agreement (LBA), he said, “If people feel LBA is a pact of few kilometres of the land it is not true, it is a meeting of hearts rather than just an agreement in the world where all battles were fought for land.
On the long-pending Teesta water-sharing deal, Modi said the issue has to be solved with a humanitarian perspective.
“Water issues need to be resolved from humanitarian perspective. I am confident we will be able to do so,” he said, adding that, “It is the responsibility of both sides to ensure that a solution is found.”
The Prime Minister, who held bilateral talks with his Bangladeshi counterpart Sheikh Hasina after which 22 pacts were signed on Saturday, said, “while people thought we were just near (paas-paas) to each other, now the world would have to acknowledge that we are not just paas-paas(nearby) but also saath-saath (together).
PM Modi also spoke about two Bangladeshi women from poor families who have climbed the Mount Everest and also about Salma Khatun, who plays for the country’s women’s Cricket team.
“This the power of Bangladesh. I am here to move together. This is the capability which enthuses us further,” he said.
Stressing on the need to provide the “aspirational” youth with opportunities, PM Modi said, “There are dreams of the youth of this land. Times have really changed. Ask any youth about his aspiration. He wants to embrace the whole world. Our responsibility is to provide the youth opportunities.