New Delhi [India], November 9 (ANI): Indian Ambassador's Group has said that recent brutal terrorist attacks in France by Islamic fundamentalists have implications for all democratic countries based on pluralism and rule of law and India stands with Paris at "this difficult moment" and fully supports the French Government on this issue.
A statement signed by 22 former Indian ambassadors said India has rightly expressed solidarity with the French president personally and France as a country with which bilateral ties have remarkably deepened strategically in recent years.
They said India has been a victim of state-sponsored terrorism for decades and is especially sensitive to issues of terrorism.
It said that France, because of its history, is deeply wedded to freedom of expression and France's Muslim population "has a very different perspective of the relationship between the State and religion as well as on freedom of expression".
"The moot point to consider is whether religious justice can be meted out unilaterally without due process by individual in a constitutional democracy in accordance with a belief system that has no place in local jurisprudence?" the statement said.
The group said that under Prime Minister Modi, India has inscribed the issue of international terrorism as a threat to international peace and security on the international and multilateral agenda.
"It is important to note that there is an international consensus reflected repeatedly in documents that no cause whatsoever justifies resort to terrorism. In this context demonstrations in India against France and President Macron are contrary to that international consensus, government's position and the excellent bilateral relations between India and France. India stands with France at this difficult moment and fully supports the Government of France on this issue," the statement said.
The signatories of the statement are: Ajay Swarup, Ajit Kumar, Amar Sinha, Anil K. Trigunayat, Ashok Kumar, Bhaswati Mukherjee, JS Sapra, Kanwal Sibal, Laxmi Puri, Mohan Kumar, OP Gupta, Pinak Ranjan Chakravarty, Prakash Shah, Ruchi Ghanshyam, Satish Chand Mehta, Shashank, Shyamla B. Cowshik, Suresh Kumar Goel, Veena Sikri, Vidya Sagar Verma, Virender Gupta and Yogesh Gupta.
Last month, an 18-year-old man of Chechen origin beheaded Samuel Paty, a 47-year-old teacher who had shown pupils cartoons of the prophet in a civics lesson on freedom of speech. French President Emmanuel Macron paid tribute to Paty, calling him a "quiet hero" dedicated to instilling the democratic values of the French Republic in his pupils.
In a subsequent terror attack, a knife-wielding attacker killed three people at a church in the French city of Nice on October 29.
Within hours of the Nice attack, in a separate incident, police killed a man who had threatened passersby with a handgun in Montfavet, near the southern French city of Avignon. (ANI)