BEI President Mr. Farooq Sobhan spoke at a session “Uniting South Asia against terror” hosted by the India Today Global Roundtable in Kathmandu, 25 November 2014

Date: 25 November 2014

Two MPs from India, a Nepal minister, Bangladesh’s foreign secretary, a Sri Lankan envoy andPakistan’s former military spokesman discussed the possibility of uniting SAARC members in combating terrorism at the India Today Global Roundtable ahead


The session was moderated by Headlines Today Strategic Affairs Editor Gaurav Sawant.

India, Bangladesh cooperating on Burdwan blast case: Farooq Sobhan


Bangladesh’s former foreign secretary Farooq Sobhan said his country was cooperating with India to solve the Burdwan blast case.

“On Burdwan blasts case, a team from Delhi visited us. Cooperation on the ground is taking place,” he said.Farooq Sobhan, Former Foreign Secretary of Bangladesh.

Sobhan said his country was “pretty successful” in dealing with terror in the last six years. “But terror is rising again,” he said.

We’ve to address root causes of terrorism: Minindra Rijal


Nepal’s Information and Communication Minister Minindra Rijal.

Nepal’s Information and Communication Minister Minindra Rijal said South Asia has to cooperate to tackle terror.

“We have to address the root causes of terrorism and find out how radicalization is happening. What is the role of media; what is role of civil society? This cannot come down to governments… Unless South Asia puts its head together to tackle this problem, this is going to sweep the entire region,” he said. Also read: Pakistan not fixated on Kashmir issue, says Hina Rabbani Khar

He also said SARC members have to stop “blaming one another over past issues.”

“We will not be able to move ahead otherwise,” he said.

Sri Lanka successful in tackling terror: Bandula Jayasekara


Ambassador Bandula Jayasekara, Consul General of Sri Lanka in New South Wales and Queensland.

Sri Lanka’s Consul General in New South Wales and Queensland Bandula Jayasekara said his country was “the best example” of uniting South Asia against terrorism.

“We are a success story. We went through very difficult times,” he said referring to Sri Lankan Army defeating the LTTE.

Terrorism a South Asian issue: Mani Shankar Aiyar


Congress leader and Rajya Sabha MP Mani Shankar Aiyar.

Congress leader and Rajya Sabha MP Mani Shankar Aiyar said there is an absence in South Asia in recognising terrorism as “the common enemy”.

“Terrorism is a South Asian issues and it is not allowed to become an issue. Whenever SAARC meets, it all comes down to bilateral issues,” he said.

He also said that Pakistani authorities took “one-and-a-half standards on terrorism”.

“But India and Pakistan needed to talk to each other to combat terror,” he said. “It is a negative view to say that Pakistan is an exporter of terror and we should not talk to them. Unless good sense prevails, we will not have solutions to terrorism.”

Pakistan has created the terror Frankenstein: Meenakshi Lekhi


BJP leader and Lok Sabha member Meenakshi Lekhi.

BJP leader and Lok Sabha member Meenakshi Lekhi said the Pakistan Army must counter terrorism since it “created the Frankenstein”.

“India also wants to know what Pakistan’s state policy is on terrorism,” she said.

She also said that the counter-terrorism desk should be converted into “a force”.

Only military action cannot end terrorism: Major Gen Athar AbbasFormer military spokesperson of Pakistan Defence Forces Major General Athar Abbas.


Former military spokesperson of Pakistan Defence Forces Major General Athar Abbas said terrorism was rising due to “political differences between neighbouring countries”.

“The more you will create political differences with your neignbours, the more space these elements will get to create trouble,” he said.

He said the Pakistan Army has been “a stabalising factor”.

“When we see institutions eroding or not being up to the mark, the army has proved to be the stabilising factor. The army has come a long way. The army has gone into de-radicalisation and containment of terrorism,” he said.

But he also said military action can only contain terrorism, not end it. “Political action is needed to end terror,” he said.