Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday said that terrorism has taken new and serious forms and there is a need to devise a comprehensive strategy to tackle it.
In an apparent reference to Pakistan, Modi, during a joint press meet with German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Berlin, said that the world should put pressure on those governments which provide shelter and support to terrorists.
Modi described it as the “biggest threat to humanity” and said all those believing in humanity should speak in one voice and intensify collective efforts to tackle it.
“Terrorism is a challenge to the whole world…This issue should be dealt with as sensitively as nuclear proliferation,” the Prime Minister said.
He further added that “We need to work on how we can stop sources from where the weapons are supplied. How we can put pressure on the countries where governments provide shelter to terrorists…We need to isolate such countries and governments,” he said.
Modi’s remarks came four days after a Pakistan court released LeT operations commander and the 2008 Mumbai attack mastermind Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi, which evoked a sharp reaction and concern from several countries including the US, France and Israel.
Strongly protesting Lakhvi’s release, India said it “eroded” the value of Pakistan’s commitment to tackle terror.
The Prime Minister once again pitched for the permanent seat in UNSC saying both India and Germany should be permanent members and the world will gain a lot by this.
Modi sought Merkel’s help in concluding a “balanced and mutually beneficial” Free Trade Agreement with the European Union that has been stalled for two years.
“I have requested Chancellor Merkel that India and European Union should resume the negotiations quickly and conclude a balanced and mutually beneficial agreement at the earliest,” Modi said during a joint press conference with German Chancellor after a meeting with her.
“Development of India as a manufacturing hub and expansion of infrastructure of India would also be beneficial for trade. Our imports would also grow. And, it is natural that German companies would benefit a lot from it.
“In this context, I would also like to state that negotiations between India and European Union on a Broad-based Trade and Investment Agreement have remained stalled for two years,” he said.
Launched in June 2007, negotiations for the proposed Broad-based Trade and Investment Agreement (BTIA) between India and the 28-member European bloc have witnessed many hurdles as both the sides have major differences on crucial issues.
The two sides are yet to iron out issues related to tariffs and movement of professionals but the EU has shown an inclination to restart talks.
In May, 2013, both sides failed to bridge substantial gaps on crucial issues, including data security status for IT sector.
Besides demanding the EU wants tax reduction in wines, spirits and dairy products, and a strong intellectual property regime.
On the other hand, India is asking for granting ‘data secure nation’ status to it by the EU. The country is among nations not considered data secure by the EU.
The matter is crucial as it will have a bearing on IndianIT companies wanting market access.
The EU law mandates that European countries doingoutsourcing business with countries that are not certified as data secure have to follow stringent contractual obligations which increases operating costs and affects competitiveness.
India also wants liberalised visa norms for its professionals and market access in services and pharmaceuticals sector.
The two-way commerce stood at USD 101.5 billion in 2013-14. It was USD 57.25 billion during April-October last fiscal.