Dr Charles Tannock

Member of the European Parliament for London

Terrorist bombing in Bombay

Delivered in Plenary - September 4th 2003

Mr President

As the founder of the European Parliament Friends of India group, this resolution is intended as a gesture of solidarity with the people and government of India against the mindless violence perpetrated by a small number of fanatics drawn from Islamic extremists. They believe the killing in Bombay with the bombing of innocents, including children and members of their own Muslim faith, to be justified and a way of destabilising the largest multicultural, democratic success story in the world.

I also salute the professionalism of the authorities, not only in their early success in apprehending the suspects and hopefully eventually securing convictions, but, most of all, preventing an escalation of further inter-communal violence.

I also welcome the response of the government of Pakistan, but it must crack down seriously if any evidence emerges of connections to Lashkar-e-Toiba and if any of its operations are shown to have been launched from Pakistani territory. However, I particularly welcome their condemnation of the bomb attack.

It is essential that the political stability of India as a nuclear, regional superpower is upheld by all EU Member States and all other democratic nations of the world. India is a country in which all groups have reached the highest offices, as illustrated by its current President and Head of State, who is a Muslim. Within 20 years it will in terms of population be the largest country in the world, overtaking China. Terrorism is a negation of all the values of those who seek to build rather than destroy. This House condemns it everywhere, all over the world.