Countering Pakistan-based terrorism: India-France steps up counter-extremism coop
New Delhi: India and France are planning to expand their collaboration against Pakistan-based extremism and terrorism both through bilateral means as well as multilateral forums.
France during the recent visit of its NSA to Delhi indicated that Paris will put an end to exports of critical defence items to Pakistan Army and decided to widen counter-terror & extremism partnership with India, The Economic Times reported.
Islamabad-Paris ties will be further tested in a few weeks as PM Imran Khan has to decide on his earlier promise of expelling French envoy in the backdrop of cartoons over the Prophet, the Indian newspaper reported.
It may be recalled that India was the first country to back the French President following criticisms levelled by Pakistan and Turkey over cartoons on Islam.
Paris and New Delhi have decided to expand their information-sharing mechanism and increase coordination between their law enforcement agencies to effectively counter-terror network globally, the newspaper further reported.
Macron: From liberal poster boy of France to Muslim world eyesore
Once a poster boy of the all-embracing liberal West, who in elections defeated the far-right, French President Emmanuel Macron is now suddenly an enemy of the Islamic world with the Turkish president even calling him "mentally unwell".
Leaders of several Muslim countries, including Pakistan PM Imran Khan, have come down heavily on the French President for his efforts to keep his country free from Islamist terror as Macron faced one of the toughest challenges of his Presidency.
"Our challenge is to fight against those who go off the rails in the name of religion … while protecting those who believe in Islam and are full citizens of the republic," Macron said on Oct 2 last, hinting at a new law that will be presented in December.
"Islam is a religion which is experiencing a crisis today, all over the world," he had said in his speech while emphasing on the need to free Islam in France from foreign influences as he suggested a move to stop Imams from getting trained abroad and cracking down on religious funding.
A fortnight later, a history teacher, 47-year-old Samuel Paty was beheaded in Paris for showing a caricature of Prophet Mohammad during a discussion on free speech.
Macron was essentially targetting this fanaticism from Islamists, but became a target himself, thus exposing the double standards of the Muslim world.
On October 29, another Islamist terror struck France, claiming the lives of three people, incluidng the beheading of one.
The attacker, a knife-wielding man, was heard shouting 'Allahu-Akbar' multiple times while he was being nabbed by law enforcement officials.
On October 28, Pakistan's Prime Minister Imran Khan urged leaders of the Muslim countries to collectively confront growing trend of Islamophobia.
Khan said the leaders of the Muslim states should "collectively take the lead in breaking this cycle of hate and extremism, which nurtures violence and even death".
What Khan fails to understand is that while he cries about Islamophobia, extreme harsh treatment is meted out to minorities in his own country.