Prime Minister Narendra Modi today warned that “preachers of hate and violence” are threatening the fabric of the society, in comments that assume significance amid the controversy surrounding Islamic preacher Zakir Naik.
He also appeared to be hitting out at Pakistan as he emphasised that those giving shelter to terrorists and using them as political instruments must be condemned.
Addressing the students at the University of Nairobi here, Modi pitched for a world free from terror and hate, saying safety and security of people and societies is essential for realising the benefits of the economic progress.
“Preachers of hate and violence are threatening the fabric of our society,” he said without taking any names.
Underlining the need to counter radicalization, he said “Youth can play an important role in building a counter narrative to extremist ideologies.”
His comments assume significance in view of the expanding footprint of ISIS terror group, which is particularly attracting the youth through a campaign of radicalisation.
A recent case in point was the attack in Bangladesh some days back at a cafe by a group of six educated youth in which 22 people, mostly foreigners, were killed.
Some of these six attackers were allegedly influenced by the controversial Indian Muslim preacher Zakir Naik, who gives sermons on a TV channel, which is under scrutiny of the Indian government now.
Apprehensions of some Indian youth getting attracted towards ISIS is also gaining ground with 15 youngsters from Kerala going missing mysteriously.
The Prime Minister, while speaking about developmental strides, said, “A steady march towards our economic goals is indeed a priority. But, we also cannot ignore the safety of our people.”
“We must be equally condemning of those who give shelterto terrorists and use them as political instruments,” the Prime Minister said, in an apparent reference to Pakistan where anti-India terror groups like Lashkar-e-Taiba and Jaish -e-Mohammad are based and carry out strikes in India with the support of Pakistani establishment.
“Terrorism knows no boundaries, no religion, no race and no values,” Modi asserted.
Turning to maritime security, he said there is a need to stand guard against sea-borne threats.
He also pressed the need for ensuring that piracy does not affect the movements in the maritime area and that freedom of navigation is ensured for all.
Pitching for closer security cooperation with Kenya and other African countries connected with India by the Indian Ocean, he said the eastern coast of Africa is facing challenges.
“Coastal security is a matter of deeper engagement,” he said, while asking Africa to ensure that its safety is not compromised.
Talking about cooperation with Kenya, he said India is ready to share its experiences and expertise in diversified areas like telecom, agriculture, energy and IT.
“As you march towards your destiny, you will find in India a trusted and reliable partner,” he told the Kenyans.