Sponsors of terrorism committing strategic suicide: Minister

New Delhi: Stressing on economic growth and stability through mutually beneficial cooperation in the Indian Ocean, India said on Thursday that terrorism is the gravest threat and its sponsors are committing "strategic suicide". Addressing the inaugural session of the Indian Ocean Conference, Minister of State for External Affairs M.J. Akbar said that India has the strength and conviction to stop the spreading scourge of radicalisation because it also has an ideological answer to this menace. "We offer the template of a democratic polity and modernity to counter regressive jihadism and terrorism," he said. Saying that Prime Minister Narendra Modi has no illusions about the threat from terrorism and its malevolent sponsors, Akbar said "they seem to be unaware that they are committing strategic suicide". Akbar suggested that the real dynamism of India as the pivot power comes from its contribution towards the demographics of the region. "This complements the traditional trade routes, and the rising aspiration of partner nations willing to work in harmony. India both complements and protects rising Asia, with its powerful economies like those of Japan and China and, even more so, the growing capacities of the littoral nations across the Indian Ocean, to foster economic growth and stability through mutually beneficial cooperation," he said. "India will tilt towards its deepest philosophical and historical traditions, towards peace and shared prosperity," he added. Akbar also said that search for prosperity must be driven by best practices across the Indian Ocean. "India's policy objectives are transparent. We seek measures that will facilitate the natural flow of peaceful inter-action and consequent growth through cooperation. We do not believe that regional confrontational attitudes are helpful in the ocean, or extended regions like the South China Sea, to give one instance. Law must be respected; after all, law preserves order," he said. Being geopolitically in the centre of the Indian Ocean, Akbar said "India is the western frontier of peace, and the eastern frontier of war". "The world must recognize India's critical role in both the quest for prosperity, and the existential struggle to eliminate what Prime Minister Narendra Modi has eloquently described Terrorism as the gravest threat since World War 2," he said. He said India's dual ability to emancipate the Asian economy in partnership with those who seek a better life; and its determination to confront today's merchants of death, will determine whether the 21st century belongs to Asia.