Terrorism will be defeated: PM
By Our Special Correspondent
NEW DELHI, NOV. 30. The occasion was Guru Nanak Jayanti, celebrated as Guru Purab. And elections in Punjab are around the corner. It was a fitting occasion for the Prime Minister, Mr. Atal Behari Vajpayee, to meet Sikhs and say a few words, and so he did.
Not so long ago his residence was the venue of a gathering of Muslims, an occasion for the Prime Minister to reiterate his Government's commitment to secularism.
Addressing a gathering of Sikhs at his residence this morning, Mr. Vajpayee said that the menace of terrorism had brought the world to a critical juncture, but he was confident that soon it would be a thing of the past, and ``terrorism would be defeated.''
India had always been a secular country with a secular government opposed to discrimination in the name of religion, caste or community, he said. The implication was that minorities would always be safe here and would continue to have all the rights to practice their religion.
He referred to the ongoing war in Afghanistan triggered by the September 11 terrorist strikes on America. Some of those cities in Afghanistan, now in the news because of the war, were places where Guru Nanak's message of peace and brotherhood had spread, he noted.
The `shabad kirtan' was rendered with the Prime Minister and several BJP leaders.
A Sikh delegation had earlier met him to thank him for a financial package for Punjab and had presented him with a `saropa.' It was a way of showing honour and respect.
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