PM Modi calls for 'strongest action' against Pakistan sponsored terror

Vientiane (Laos): Without naming Pakistan, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday said that strongest action should be reserved for those states that use terrorism as an instrument of state policy.

"We need to target not only the terrorists, but also their entire supporting ecosystem," Modi said while addressing the 11th East Asia Summit here, te premier leaders-led forum of the Asia-Pacific region.

"And, our strongest action should be reserved for those state actors who employ terrorism as an instruments of state policy," he said.

Stating that most countries in the South Asian region were pursuing a peaceful path to economic prosperity, he said: "But, there is one country in India's neighbourhood whose competitive advantage rests solely in producing and exporting terrorism."

India-Pakistan relations have soured in recent times following the killing of Hizbul Mujahideen terrorist Burhan Wani in Jammu and Kashmir in July. Pakistan described Wani as a "martyr".

Over 70 people have died in large-scale violence in the state since then.

Stating that terrorism was the most serious challenge to open and pluralistic societies, Modi called for collective efforts to combat the scourge.

The Prime Minister said that India remained committed, including through membership of export control regimes, to pursuing total and verifiable elimination of weapons of mass destruction.

Since its inception in 2005 -- India is a founding member -- the East Asia Summit has played a significant role in the strategic, geopolitical and economic evolution of East Asia.