External Affairs Minister (EAM) Sushma Swaraj on Friday, March 1, addressed Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) meeting in Abu Dhabi and urged OIC to work together to uproot terrorism from the world. This Indian minister said this amid heightened tensions between arch-rivals India and Pakistan triggered by the Pulwama terror attack on February 14.
Sushma Swaraj was invited as a "guest of honour" at the inaugural session of the foreign ministers' conclave in Abu Dhabi. She had arrived in Abu Dhabi to attend the foreign ministers' meet of the influential grouping of 57 countries on Thursday.
At the OIC meeting, Swaraj said that the states must be confronted that provide shelter to terrorists in their countries. However, she did not mention Pakistan in her address. Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi said that he would not participate in the meeting of the Council of Foreign Ministers of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) in Abu Dhabi over the invitation to the Indian minister.
"If we want to save humanity, we must tell the states who provide shelter and funding to terrorists, to dismantle the infrastructure of the terrorist camps and stop providing funding shelter and funding to the terror organisations based in that country," she said, without naming Pakistan.
She said, "Terrorism is destroying lives, destabilising regions and putting the world at great peril. Terror reach is growing and the toll it is taking is increasing."
"Terrorism and extremism are given different names and labels. It uses diverse causes. But in each case, it is driven by distortion of religion, and a misguided belief in its power to succeed," she added. "None of the 99 names of Allah means violence, Islam preaches peace. This menace [terrorism] cannot be stopped only through diplomatic and military means, we have to work within our communities."
It is for the first time that India has been invited to an OIC meeting as a guest of honour. There were reports that Pakistan, a member of the OIC, tried to get Swaraj ''disinvited'' from the OIC meet following India's air strike on a Pakistan-based terror camp but its request was turned down.