Modi calls for united efforts to fight terrorism

Gautam Lahiri

23 April, 2019 12:00 AM printer

NEW DELHI: Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has condemned the series of deadly bomb attacks on Sri Lankan churches and luxury hotels killing 290 people and injuring 500 others with a call for united efforts to eliminate terrorism terming it a global threat.

He was addressing an election rally in Rajasthan’s Chittorgarh on Monday.

Describing the attacks “cold-blooded and pre-planned barbaric acts”, Modi said, “The attacks are another grim reminder of the most serious challenge posed to the entire humanity by terrorism in our region and the entire world.”

The Indian prime minister renewed the offer of all possible help and assistance to Sri Lanka for ensuring its security against the challenges, including those posed by terrorism.

Modi said there is no place for barbarism in the region and that India stands in solidarity with the people of the island nation.

He outrageously warned Pakistan of nuclear war after the shocking Sri Lanka blasts.

“India has stopped the policy of getting scared by Pakistani threats. Every day, Pakistan would make claims about having nuclear weapons. Even the media would bring out reports about Pakistan having nuclear weapons. So what do we have? Are we saving them (nuclear weapons) for Diwali?”

Referring to India’s festival of lights, ‘Diwali,’ Modi boasted that India’s 140 nuclear warheads are not just for a fireworks show.

The incumbent prime minister gave the nuclear threat during a tense election battle in India.

Modi’s strong military rhetoric is seen by many as a bid to attract voters. Terrorism and India’s clashes with Pakistan have dominated headlines in the election run-up, and Modi is capitalising on the fears.

He proclaimed himself to be the only candidate who can eliminate terrorism from the region.

“In our neighbouring Sri Lanka, terrorists have played a bloody game. They killed innocent people… Can you think of any name other than ‘Modi’ who can eliminate terrorism?”

Many have criticised Modi on social media for using terrorist activity and nuclear threats as a ploy to galvanise Indian voters.

He begged votes for second term as ‘only he can beat the terrorists threatening India’.

“Should terrorism be finished or not?,” he told an election rally in the western state of Rajasthan. “Who can do this? Can you think of any name aside from Modi? Can anybody else do this?”

Modi and his ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) have promoted the government’s national security record as a vote winner in India’s staggered general election that began on April 11 and will end on May 19. Votes will be counted on May 23.