"(Indian Express) Prime Minister NarendraModi’s decision to attend the India-EU Summit, despite last week’s terror attacks, sends a strong message that will resonate across the world.Critically discuss. • The recent events in Brussels, following the terror attacks in Paris last year, once again re-emphasise the vulnerability of all parts of the world to militancy and extremism of all kinds. • The EU has a Council, which is the highest political body and it has a Commission, which is the administrative wing. There’s also a European Parliament, which functioned then more like a giant civil society organisation that would suddenly and unexpectedly take up issues throwing many countries off balance from time to time. • Belgium prided itself on its intelligence mechanism and security network. • The Belgian security establishment must have been seriously shaken by the recent incidents and the knowledge that the nerve centre of European terrorism was probably located in this small country, which plays host to many international organisations. Shockingly, the explosion at the Maelbeek metro station took place barely 200 meters from the headquarters of the European Commission. • This brings me back to the general Western approach to the issue of terrorism and its evolution over the years. • The first ever India-EU Summit was held on June 28, 2000.Political issues were negotiated by foreign service colleagues in the embassy and in the MEA. • India argued vehemently for strong language on Afghanistan, then ruled with an iron hand by the Taliban. European diplomats at that time held that the Taliban should be slowly and patiently encouraged to join the global mainstream through persuasion and friendly overtures. • Terrorist events at that time were confined to India and some other developing countries, and the West felt terrorism would never cross its own boundaries. • At the end of the day, however, India could not persuade the Europeans to make specific references to the burgeoning militancy and terrorism in Afghanistan. • The changed approach to terrorism was reflected in the third EU-India Summit in Copenhagen. Much stronger language was used in the joint declaration • That the joint approach of India and the EU to terrorism became stronger and stronger over the years is evident from the joint communiqués issued from time to time. The ninth summit, held in Marseille on September 29, 2008, reaffirmed “their strong and continued commitment to the government of Afghanistan in its efforts to build a democratic and pluralistic society” and to strengthen Afghan security and military forces. Nor is the concern with terrorism confined to Afghanistan. • The fact that terrorism can strike anywhere at any time and that all countries are equally at risk has now become obvious to all political leaders across the globe. Western policies are, still rather ambivalent and the on-off approach followed in dealing with terror-related issues results in a lingering malaise which may take many hundreds of lives before the world sees reason and acts cohesively. • The decision of the Indian prime minister to attend the current summit in Brussels, regardless of the recent terrorist attacks, is a bold step which sends a strong message that will resonate across the world. OTHER PRACTICE QUESTIONS

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