NEW DELHI – British Prime Minister Theresa May joined her Indian counterpart Narendra Modi Nov. 7 in demanding strong action against those who support terrorism and provide sanctuary to its perpetrators, after he voiced deep concern over cross-border terrorism, in an obvious reference to Pakistan.
The leaders called upon Pakistan to bring to justice the perpetrators of the November 2008 and 2016 terrorist attacks in Mumbai and Pathankot as May condemned the terror strike on the Indian Army Brigade headquarters in Uri in September.
As many as 19 soldiers were killed in the attack.
Terrorism and Indo-British economic ties were the key subjects at the talks here between Modi and May, who arrived Nov. 6 on a three day visit to India, her first bilateral trip outside Europe since becoming Prime Minister in July after the Brexit vote.
The joint statement issued after the talks said they strongly affirmed that terrorism is a serious threat to humanity and reiterated their strong commitment to combating terrorism in all its forms and manifestations. They stressed that there can be no justification for acts of terror on any grounds whatsoever while agreeing there should be zero-tolerance to terrorism.
In an obvious reference to Pakistan hailing Hizbul Mujahideen militant Burhan Wani as "martyr,” the joint statement said: "There should be no glorification of terrorists or efforts to make a distinction between good and bad terrorists. They agreed that South Asia should be stable, prosperous and free from terror and called on all countries to work towards that goal."
Modi and May also called for concerted global action against them "without selectivity.” They pitched for urgent measures to counter and prevent the spread of terrorism, violent extremism and radicalization.
The two Prime Ministers affirmed that the fight against terrorism should not only seek to disrupt and bring to justice terrorists, terror organizations and networks, but also identify, hold accountable and take strong measures against all those who encourage, support and finance terrorism, provide sanctuary to terrorists and terror groups, and falsely extol their virtues.
Addressing a joint press event with May, Modi said they discussed ways to purposefully work together to combat the growing forces of radicalization and terrorism. "We agreed that it is not a limited security challenge. Its arc of threat spreads across nations and regions. Terrorists move across borders with ease, and endanger the entire humanity.”
"I conveyed our deep concerns to Prime Minister May regarding cross-border terrorism and the need for the international community to take strong action against States that support and sponsor terrorism," he said.
On her part, May said the two countries face the shared threat of terrorism as individual countries, as partners, and as global powers and have agreed to strengthen cooperation in particular by sharing best practice to tackle use of internet by violent extremists.
IANS adds: Security has been enhanced and vigil stepped up for the day-long visit of British Prime Minister Theresa May here Nov. 8, said a police official.
"Security details are sensitive and hence not divulged for official reasons, especially in case of VIPs visiting the state. Elaborate security is in place for May in the city as per the rules," a senior police official told IANS on the condition of anonymity.
Soon after arrival at 10.30 a.m., May will hold a bilateral meeting with Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah at a hotel near the international airport at Devanahalli, about 40km from the city center.
On her way to the city, May will go to a state-run primary school at Papanahalli and interact with its students.
"The British Prime Minister will visit Dynamatic Technologies Ltd at the Peenya industrial estate and inspect its aerospace facility, where components are made for British and French firms like BAE Systems and Airbus Industries," said a protocol official ahead of the visit.
After lunch at a hotel in the city center, May will go to the Someshwara Temple at Halasuru and seek blessings of the Hindu deity Shiva.
The 15th century temple is one the oldest in the southern state, dating back to the Chola period.
On her way back to the airport, May will hold an hour-long interactive session with chief executives of India Inc., at a city hotel.
A delegation of Small and Medium Enterprises will call on her at the venue.