Invoking the 2001 terror attack on the Parliament at the opening of the P20 Summit in the national capital on Friday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said India has been facing and battling cross-border terrorism for many years.
In his keynote address to the P20 Summit, which is being represented by G20 members and delegates from other leading international organisations, PM Modi said,” I am told, Speaker Om Birla will take you to the new building of Parliament. India has been facing cross-border terrorism for many years now. Terrorists have taken the lives of thousands of our people. Nearly 20 years ago, the old Parliament building, which is near the old one, came under attack by terrorists. You will be shocked to know that Parliament was in session at the time of the attack.”
He added that India has fought the scourge of terrorism, in all its forms and manifestations, over a number of years and even the world was now waking up to the threat that it poses to civilian and world peace.
In a significant statement amid the ongoing Israeli air raids in Gaza, which followed the Hamas terror attacks, PM Modi said, “Whatever be the cause or motivations, terrorism is against humanity. We will have to fight terrorism. Also, it is disheartening to see that there is no consensus among countries on the language and definition of terrorism. Terrorists are taking advantage of this.”
Masked gunmen from the Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) and Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) — two Pakistan-based terrorist outfits — attacked the Parliament on December 13, 2001. The attack left 5 Delhi Police personnel, 2 Parliament Security Service personnel, one CRPF constable and a gardener dead and led to a sharp escalation in tensions between India and Pakistan.
Addressing the inaugural session of the ninth P20 Summit earlier on Friday, Inter-Parliamentary Union President Duarte Pacheco said peace has to be maintained in all continents, including the Middle East, and efforts should be made globally in this direction.
“It’s impossible to talk about sustainable and developmental goals and talk about a future without peace. We need to defend peace in all continents including the Middle East. Peace should be on the front page. Even a single death is too much,” he said.
While the G20 member countries attended the event, Canada was conspicuous by its absence at the 9th G20 Parliamentary Speakers’ Summit (P20).
Earlier Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla, at a press briefing, informed that apart from G20 countries, 10 other countries and international organizations will participate in the P20 Summit and so far, 50 Parliamentarians and 14 Secretary Generals, including 26 Presidents, 10 Vice Presidents, one Committee Chairman and the IPU President have confirmed their participation.
Speakers and heads of delegation of Indonesia, Mexico, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Spain, European Parliament, Italy, South Africa, Russia, Turkiye, Nigeria, Australia, Brazil, UAE, Singapore, Japan, Egypt and Bangladesh were present at the event.
The itinerary on the inaugural day of the 9th G20 Parliamentary Speakers’ Summit (P20) and Parliamentary Forum includes two separate sessions on Friday.
The first session comprises a discussion on ‘One Earth, One Family, One Future’ with Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), showcasing achievements and accelerating progress.
The second session will be on ‘One Earth Sustainable Energy Transition-Gateway to Green Future’. (ANI)
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