Nations using terrorism as political tool must understand it is an equally big threat for them: PM Modi at UN

Addressing the 76th UN General Assembly, PM Modi also said that in order to strengthen rules-based world order, international community must speak in unison, in an apparent reference to China

PM Narendra Modi addressing  UN General Assembly (Photo: Twitter)
PM Narendra Modi addressing UN General Assembly (Photo: Twitter)
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PTI

Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Saturday that countries with "regressive thinking" that are using terrorism as a "political tool" must understand that it is an equally big threat for them also, in a veiled attack on Pakistan which is often accused by its neighbours of providing safe havens to terrorists.

Addressing the 76th UN General Assembly, Prime Minister Modi also said that in order to strengthen the rules-based world order, the international community must speak in unison, in an apparent reference to China which is flexing its military muscles in the Indo-Pacific.

Noting that the world is facing an increased threat of regressive thinking and extremism, Modi said countries that are using terrorism as a political tool have to understand that terrorism is an equally big threat to them.

"It is absolutely essential to ensure that Afghanistan's territory is not used to spread terrorism and for terrorist activities," he said. "We also need to ensure that no country tries to take advantage of the delicate situation in Afghanistan and use it for its own selfish interests," he added.


Pakistan's neighbours, including Afghanistan and India, and the US have long accused Islamabad of providing safe haven and support to militants, a charge denied by it.

Modi said that oceans are also a shared heritage.

"Our oceans are also the lifeline of international trade. We must protect them from the race for expansion. The international community must speak in one voice to strengthen a rule-based world order," he added.

Mourning the loss of lives lost due to the global coronavirus pandemic, Prime Minister Modi reiterated India's commitment to start giving vaccines to needy persons in other countries, even as he gave a clarion call to manufacturers to "Come, Make Vaccine in India".

"For the last one-and-a-half years, the whole world is facing the biggest pandemic in 100 years. I pay homage to all those who lost their lives in such a terrible pandemic and extend my condolences to the families," Modi said.

India's vaccine delivery platform - COWIN, is providing digital support for hundreds of millions of vaccine doses in a single day, he said.

India had stopped the export of COVID-19 vaccines after the second wave of the pandemic hit the country hard in April this year.

On Monday, India said it will resume export of surplus COVID-19 vaccines in the fourth quarter of 2021 under the ''Vaccine Maitri'' programme and to meet its commitment to the COVAX global pool.

"India, which lives on Sewa Paramo Dharma (service is the main duty), is engaged in vaccination development and manufacturing despite limited resources. I want to inform UNGA that India has developed the world's first DNA vaccine, which can be administered to all people above the age of 12 years," Modi said at the UNGA.

"Another mRNA vaccine is in its late stages of development. Scientists in India are also engaged in the development of a nasal vaccine for Corona. Realising its responsibility towards humanity, India has once again started giving vaccines to the needy of the world. I also invite vaccine manufacturers from all over the world today to- Come, Make Vaccine in India," the prime minister said.

He said if the UN wants to remain relevant, it will need to improve its effectiveness and enhance its reliability, underlining the need to strengthen the world body to safeguard global order, laws and values.

Modi quoted great Indian diplomat Chanakya's words "when the right action is not taken at the right time, then it is time itself that causes the action to fail" to push his view.

"If the United Nations wants to remain relevant. It will need to improve its effectiveness and enhance its reliability," he said.

Modi said that today, all kinds of questions have been raised about the UN.

"We have seen such questions being raised, related to the climate crisis and during the COVID-19 pandemic," he said.

"The proxy war going on in many parts of the world, terrorism and the recent crisis in Afghanistan have further highlighted the seriousness of these questions," the Prime Minister said.

"The women and children of Afghanistan, the minorities of Afghanistan need help. And we must fulfil our duty by providing them with this help," he said.

He said it is absolutely essential to ensure that Afghanistan's territory is not used to spread terrorism and for terrorist attacks.

"We also need to be alert and ensure that no country tries to take advantage of the delicate situation there and use it as a tool for its own selfish interests," Modi said without naming any country.

"With regard to the origin of COVID-19 and the ease of doing business rankings, institutions of global governance have damaged the credibility they had built after decades of hard work," he said.

"I represent a country that is proud to be known as the mother of democracy. On 15th of August this year, India entered into the 75th year of its independence," he said.

Our diversity is the identity of our strong democracy, he said.

"It is a country that has dozens of languages, hundreds of dialects, different lifestyles and cuisines. This is the best example of a vibrant democracy," Prime Minister Modi said.

"The strength of our democracy is demonstrated by the fact that a little boy who at one time used to help his father at his tea stall at a railway station is today addressing the United Nations General Assembly for the fourth time as prime minister of India," he said.

"I will soon have spent 20 years serving my countrymen as head of government. First, as the longest serving Chief Minister of Gujarat and then as the Prime Minister for the last seven years," Modi said, adding that democracy has delivered.

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