Posts Tagged 'britain'

West ignored India’s warnings on terrorism: Blair

http://www.indianweekender.co.nz/Pages/ArticleDetails/10/1643/India/West-ignored-Indias-warnings-on-terrorism-Blair

London: Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair said that the West has always ignored India’s warnings on terrorism.

“Despite India’s warnings on terrorism, it took 9/11 for us to wake up,” Blair said in an interview to NDTV news channel aired on Monday.

“I used to say towards the end of prime ministership that we should have listened to India more…we should have watched what’s happening there and taken more account of it.

“It’s for our arrogance, something West is known for, that we didn’t quite understand it and ignored India’s warnings on terrorism,” Blair said.

“Now I realize that it is a global war (against terrorism) and it threatens all.”

Asked if terrorism is rooted in Pakistan, Blair said there is strain of extremism in Islam itself.

“I have many Pakistani friends and I have realized that they (Pakistan) too wants to defeat terrorism,” said Blair.

He further said: “I think it has more to do with the fact that this trend of extremism within Islam. What I learnt from the Indian experience is, you can’t hide away from the fact that this (extremism) is an element within Islam.…it doesn’t express itself as an accepted terrorism but as a narrative of extremism about society, about relations between countries and people of different places.”

“I think fundamental has to be confronted. That fundamental, I am afraid, is present as a strain in the Pakistani society,” said Blair.

RSS, Bajrang Dal are not terrorist groups: Britain

RSS, Bajrang Dal are not terrorist groups: Britain
19 Nov 2008, 1021 hrs IST, IANS 
 
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com./India/RSS_Bajrang_Dal_are_not_terrorist_groups_Britain/articleshow/3730887.cms
 
LONDON: The British government has said neither the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) nor the Bajrang Dal are terrorist organisations and their 
members are not banned from entering Britain.

“The government do not consider the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh or the Bajrang Dal as terrorist organisations,” British Minister of State for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office Lord Malloch-Brown told the House of Lords.

“Neither organisation is proscribed in the UK or in India, nor do the Indian government classify either as a terrorist organisation,” Malloch-Brown said in reply to a question by former cabinet minister Lord Chris Patten.

Malloch-Brown said decisions on whether or not to ban a group in Britain “must be proportionate and based on evidence that a group is involved in terrorism as defined in the Terrorism Act 2000.”

The British minister also turned down a plea by Patten, who had visited India in October, to “ensure” that members of the RSS and Bajrang Dal are prevented from entering Britain.

Malloch-Brown replied that neither the RSS nor the Bajrang Dal are banned in Britain or subject to other restrictions or sanctions. Nor were they classified as terrorist organisations or banned by the Indian government.

“Unless an organisation is proscribed in the UK under the Terrorism Act 2000, membership of an organisation does not in itself provide grounds for refusing entry to the UK.

“Where there is evidence that the presence in the UK of a particular individual would not be conducive to the public good, consideration will be given to denying entry,” the minister said in his answer earlier this month.

While Patten’s questions at the House of Lords may have been prompted by the anti-Christian violence in Orissa, informed sources said the Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh (HSS) – set up in 1966 as the nearest equivalent of the RSS in Britain – works very differently from Hindu groups in India.

“The HSS was set up in a number of countries. They have little to do with the RSS and abide by the laws of the country where they are based,” said a source closely allied to the HSS in Britain.

“They largely undertake activities concerning cultural identity rather than nationalistic identity. You can’t equate what happens in Gujarat, or elsewhere in India with what’s happening in Britain. For the second generation in particular, India is a bit abstract,” the source said.

The HSS is said to have around 70 ‘shakhas’ or branches offices in Britain, with around 1,100 regular visitors.

“Over the years, British prime ministers and opposition leaders have passed through their doors,” the source said.

RSS General Secretary Mohan Rao Bhagwat stopped over in Britain in September on his way back from a visit to the Caribbean.

“He was felicitated by the community. Some important people, including police, were aware of the visit and there was no problem,” the source said.