PARIS: Counter-terrorism is set to bring India and France in a tighter strategic embrace. When Prime Minister Narendra Modi met a delegation of French parliamentarians in Paris, they expressed solidarity over Pakistan’s release of Mumbai terror mastermind Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi and underlined that this is “not good news for either India or the world.”
The French members of National Assembly conveyed to Mr Modi their “concern and anguish” over the release of the butcher of 26/11 terror. “They conveyed that this was not good news for either India or the world,” Syed Akbaruddin, the spokesperson of India’s external affairs ministry, said in Paris April 10.
Mr Modi, said the spokesperson, appreciated the concern by French MPs and underlined that the response showed a commonality of approach by the two countries towards counter-terrorism. “The concern you have shown for India and the anguish you have displayed indicates the common approach of India and France towards terrorism,” Mr Modi told French MPs. Mr Modi, according to the spokesperson, added that whenever there are terror incidents in France, people in India get worked up, and underlined that it was good to see reciprocal response from the Indian side.
Amid the proliferation of terror networks in the region, especially in West Africa and the Gulf region, India and France are set to proactively expand counter-terror cooperation. When Charlie Hebdo, a French satirical magazine, was targeted by terrorists a few months ago, Mr Modi had promptly conveyed his solidarity to French President Francois Hollande.
- Manish Chand is Founder-CEO and Editor-in-Chief of India Writes Network (www.indiawrites.org) and India and World, a pioneering magazine focused on international affairs. He is CEO/Director of TGII Media Private Limited, an India-based media, publishing, research and consultancy company.