External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on Wednesday said that India is a strong contender to become a permanent member of United Nations Security Council (UNSC).
“It is necessary to expand the United Nations Security Council and India is a strong contender to become a permanent member of the UNSC,” Swaraj told the media after Russia-India-China (RIC) meet here.
She further said that New Delhi has proposed in the meeting for the establishment of UN-led global counter-terrorism mechanism and finalising Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism (CCIT) to combat the menace of terrorism in the world.
“We have also discussed that there is an urgent requirement to bring changes in the United Nations to maintain its impact on the world. We need a global strategy, global cooperation. I’m happy to tell you today we discussed the establishment of UN-led global counter-terrorism mechanism and finalising CCIT, proposed by India to implement it,” he added.
Swaraj’s remarks have come a day after India’s Permanent Representative to the UN Ambassador Syed Akbaruddin, during a meeting in UN, said that a majority of the UN members support the expansion of the permanent and non-permanent membership of the Security Council.
The UNSC which is one of the six organs of the UN consists of five permanent members, the United Kingdom, France, China, the United States and Russia.
When asked about the contentions between India and China on terrorism, Swaraj said: “You heard the address by Mr Wang Yi, he said ‘We will cooperate to eradicate breeding ground of terrorism and extremism.’ It’s not just a joint strategy but also our commitment…Terrorism is a threat to humanity, so strategy by the three countries (Russia, India and China) is not enough.”
Noting that JeM carried out the February 14 Pulwama attack in which 40 CRPF men were killed and several others injured, Swaraj said, “Such dastardly terrorist attacks are a grim reminder for the need of all the countries to show zero tolerance to terrorism and take decisive action against it.”
She was addressing the media after the 16th Foreign Ministers meeting of RIC. The conclave was attended by Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.
She said, “In the light of continuing refusal by Pakistan to acknowledge and act against terror groups based on its territory, and based on credible information that JeM is planning other attacks in various parts of India, the Government of India decided to take pre-emptive action.”
The External Affairs Minister said, “Following the Pulwama terrorist attack, instead of taking seriously the calls by the international community to act against JeM and other terror groups based in Pakistan, Pakistan denied any knowledge of the attack and out-rightly dismissed claims by JeM.”
In a pre-dawn strike on February 26, Indian Air Force (IAF) jets had targeted the “biggest training camp” of JeM in Balakot in Kyber Pakhtunkhwa in Pakistan.
Swaraj said the target was selected to avoid civilian casualties and the operation was non-military.
“It wasn’t a military operation, no military installation was targeted. The limited objective of the pre-emptive strike was to act decisively against terror infrastructure of JeM in order to pre-empt another terror attack in India,” she said.