In an important marker that underlines the country’s assertion of its strategic autonomy, India has come out unequivocally in support of France, which has come under fire over alleged anti-Islamic remarks of its president following a terror attack perpetrated by a Muslim zealot in Nice.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi minced no words when he strongly condemned the recent terrorist attacks in France and underlined India’s solidarity with France. “I strongly condemn the recent terrorist attacks in France, including today’s heinous attack in Nice inside a church. Our deepest and heartfelt condolences to the families of the victims and the people of France. India stands with France in the fight against terrorism,” PM Modi said in a tweet.
A day after PM Modi’s denunciation of the terror attack in France, India’s Foreign Secretary Harsh Shringla, who is currently on a weeklong European tour, underlined India’s unwavering solidarity with France in the wake of the Nice terror attack. In his meeting with Emmanuel Bonne, a diplomatic advisor to French President Macron, Mr Shringla extended the Indian government’s condolences on the terror attack in France and conveyed PM Modi’s message that India stands with France in the fight against terrorism.
“It was horrifying to hear about the two recent terrorist incidents in France, one of which, as is very often the case, had its origins in our western neighbourhood Pakistan,” Mr Shringla said in his address at Institut Français des Relations Internationales (IFRI), a French Think Tank. “For the past three decades, we have experienced what unbridled radicalism can wreak and what malevolent violent forces it can unleash,” he said.
Earlier, in an official statement, India’s Ministry of External Affairs had said: “We strongly deplore the personal attacks in unacceptable language on President Emmanuel Macron in violation of the most basic standards of international discourse. “There is no justification for terrorism for any reason or under any circumstance,” said the ministry.
The repeated condemnation of the terror attack in France by India, which is being defended by some Muslim leaders in countries like Turkey and Pakistan, underscores India’s strategic autonomy and a principled decision by New Delhi to shed appeasement on crucial issues like terrorism. India has become the first major non-Western country to rally firmly behind France by condemning the terror attack in unambiguous terms.
According to media reports, a knife-wielding man shouting “Allahu Akbar” beheaded an elderly woman and killed two more inside a church in the French city of Nice on October 29. Shortly after the attack, in another incident, the police shot dead a man who had threatened passersby with a handgun in Montfavet, near the southern city of Avignon. He was also shouting “Allahu Akbar” (God is Greatest), according to radio station Europe 1.
The current focus on extremism in France started in the country after a 47-year-old French teacher Samuel Paty was beheaded in a knife attack. After the incident the French president said, his country will stand by its secular values.
- 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.
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