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    In this July 21, 2015 file photo, Indian and Pakistani flags are lowered during a daily retreat ceremony at the India-Pakistan joint border check post of Attari-Wagah near Amritsar, India

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    The Indian foreign minister was speaking as a ‘guest of honour’ of the 46th Session of the Council of Foreign Ministers of Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) at special invitation from the UAE foreign minister. Pakistan, despite being a founder member of the Islamic body, boycotted the meeting.

    New Delhi (Sputnik) — Addressing the inaugural plenary of the OIC for the first time ever, Indian Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj strongly emphasised that countries must be made to dismantle terror infrastructure and stop funding and giving shelter to terror organisations. The statement comes in the backdrop of India's persistent stand against alleged terror infrastructure in Pakistan.

    "Terrorism in each case is driven by distortion of religion. Fight against terror is not a confrontation against any religion. Just as Islam means peace, none of the 99 names of Allah mean violence. Similarly, every religion in the world stands for peace, compassion and brotherhood," Sushma Swaraj said.

    Without naming Pakistan she added, "If we want to save humanity then we must tell the states who provide shelter and funding to the terrorists, to dismantle the infrastructure of that terrorist camps and stop providing funding and shelter to the terror organisations based in that country."

    The Indian foreign minister emphasised that terrorism cannot be fought on military might alone; it requires resolute values and adherence to the real message of religions.

    "I would like to say that this menace cannot be fought only through military intelligence or diplomatic means. It is also a battle that must be won through the strength of our values and the real message of religions," she emphasised.

    Swaraj further added that this is not a clash of civilisations or cultures, but a contest of ideas and ideals. She said that India has always embraced and found it easy to embrace pluralism since it is embedded in the oldest Sanskrit religious text of "The Rig Veda" which says "God is One but learned men describe Him in many ways."

    Pakistan's foreign ministry on Friday said that the country will not participate in the OIC Council of Foreign Ministers as Pakistan believes that India has no legal or moral grounds to be present at the meeting. 

    "I have decided that I will not attend the Council of Foreign Ministers. But we have 19 pending resolutions in the CFM and several of them concern the brutality against Kashmiris. So to ensure that Pakistan's resolutions [and its stance] are represented, our lower level officials will be present. In case, India is offered observer status, [our delegation] will oppose it on Pakistan's behalf," Pakistan's Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi said during the joint session of the parliament on Friday.

    Pakistan has been asking to cancel the invitation sent by Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, foreign minister of the United Arab Emirates to Sushma Swaraj as the "Guest of Honour" to address the inaugural plenary.

    On Thursday, the Indian armed forces, during a joint briefing in New Delhi, stated that fight is against terrorism and as long as Pakistan supports it, India will be ready to target their terror camps and training areas.

    India claims to have destroyed a terrorist camp in Balakot, Pakistan on 26 November, which it termed a non-military, anti-terror pre-emptive strike. On 27 February, the Pakistan Air Force retaliated and shot down an Indian Air Force (IAF) fighter jet. On Thursday, India once again reiterated that its forces will continue to take non-military action against terror camps and training areas located in Pakistan.

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    Terrorism, islamic jihad, fight, Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), Sushma Swaraj, UAE, India, Pakistan
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