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India is extremely responsible power, has upheld rule of law in war against terror: Ajit Doval

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New Delhi [India]: India is an extremely responsible power but when the need for a hot pursuit against terrorist havens was felt, the country went all out to destroy terrorism in the national interest, National Security Advisor Ajit Doval said on Tuesday.

“India is an extremely responsible power. But when the need for a hard pursuit against terrorist havens, was felt, we have gone all out to destroy terrorism in our national interest,” Doval said during an event at the Islamic Cultural Centre in Delhi.

“India has actively been working to combat terrorism through various means, including strengthening its security apparatus, enacting new laws and cooperating with other countries to prevent terrorist activities.

However, in this war against terror, even in the face of great provocation, India has steadfastly upheld the rule of law rights of its citizens and protection of human values and human rights,” he added.

Doval said India continues to play its role as a refuge for heterodox ideas with infinite capacity to absorb dissent. No religion is under any threat.

“As a proud civilizational state, India believes in promoting tolerance, dialogue and cooperation to deal with the challenges of our time. It was no coincidence that despite having around 200 million Muslims, the involvement of Indian citizens in the global terrorism has been incredibly low.”

Doval said he agreed with Saudi Arabia’s former Minister for Justice, Mohammad Bin Abdulkarim al-Issa that terrorism cannot be linked with any religion. The former Saudi Arabia minister, who is Secretary General, Muslim World League, also addressed the gathering.

The NSA said India has been leading the fight against individuals and organizations – who are promoting extremism, narcotics and terrorism

“The challenge of extremism and global terrorism compels us not to lower our guard. To preserve the security and stability within our borders and also rise to the security challenges beyond, India has been leading the fight – the fight against individuals and organizations – who are promoting extremism, narcotics and terrorism,” he said.

“I vividly recall the terrorist attack on the Grand Mosque in Mecca in 1979 and how that incident became a turning point in the way Saudi Arabia looked at itself and rest of the world. The attack was carried out by a group of militants who seized the mosque and held the hostages for several days.

The attack brought the issue of terrorism to the forefront and forced Saudi Arabia to reevaluate its security measures and foreign policy,” he added.

Doval said India has also been a victim of terrorism for many decades and has stuck to rule of law in fight against terrorism.

“The country has faced numerous terrorist attacks, including the 2008 Mumbai attacks, which claimed 168 lives. India has actively been working to combat terrorism through various means, including strengthening its security apparatus, enacting new laws, and cooperating with other countries to prevent terrorist activities.

However, in this war against terror, even in the face of grave provocations, India has steadfastly upheld the rule of law, rights of its citizens and protection of human values and rights.”

Praising Dr. Mohammad bin Abdulkarim al-Issa, Doval said his deep understanding of Islam and religions of the world’s incessant efforts toward interfaith harmony, courage to persistently lead on the path of reforms is not only contributing to a better understanding of Islam and its seminal contribution to humanity but also preventing extremist and radical ideologies to plague the young minds.

The NSA said that in his capacity as Secretary General of the Muslim World League, Dr. Mohammad bin Abdulkarim al-Issa has extensively travelled throughout the world and propagated his message of “peace, empathy and co-existence in the most unambiguous and effective way”.

“Your interactions and persuasive articulations have not only brought about a deeper and better understanding of Islam but also worked as a catalyst in promoting the values of compassion, tolerance, and respect among different faiths. The World in conflict and turmoil today, needs it more than ever before,” the NSA said.

“You have been a strong votary of the need to shun the paths of conflict and instead supported peace, harmony and understanding. We, in India, too fully subscribe to this approach and believe in doctrines of convergence, dialogue and peace leading to conflict avoidance and mitigation,” he added.

Referring to India’s presidency of G-20, he said It is only with mutual trust and cooperation among nations, civil societies, religions and people of the world that security, stability, sustainable development and a dignified life for all citizens can be ensured.

“As G-20 President, we ideated our slogan for the Summit as ‘One Earth, One Family, One Future,'” he said.

Doval said India, the world’s largest democracy and the mother of democracies, is a land of incredible diversity.

“It is a melting pot of cultures, religions, and languages that coexist in harmony. As an inclusive democracy, India has successfully managed to provide space for all its citizens, regardless of their religious, ethnic or cultural backgrounds.”

He said India and Saudi Arabia have excellent relations that are rooted in “our shared cultural heritage, common values, and economic ties”.

“Our leaders share a common vision of the future. The enduring profoundness of our historic relationship can be understood from the fact that Prophet Mohammad’s, PBUH (Peace Be Upon Him), noble wife Hazrat Khadija had a liking for silk and Kashmiri shawls from India,” he said.

The NSA said that among its numerous religious groups, Islam occupies a unique and significant position, with India being home to the second-largest Muslim population in the world.

“In fact, to give an idea of the scale we are talking about, Indian Muslim population is almost equal to the combined population of around 33-member states of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation,” he said.

The event at the India Islamic Cultural Centre in the national capital was organised by the Khusro Foundation.

Saudi Arabia’s former Minister for Justice, who is considered a leading global voice on moderate Islam, said that India with its diversity, is “a great model for coexistence” and that the country can send a message of peace to the world.

“We have talked just moments ago about the different components in the Indian society and we have been in the past days engaging with them. And I know that the Muslim component of the Indian society, they are, as I said, proud of their Constitution and proud of their nation and they are proud of the brotherhood that they share with the rest of the components of the Indian society,” he said.

Dr. Mohammad bin Abdulkarim al-Issa is on a five-day visit to India.

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