Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi says a mistake was being made by making a distinction between a "good terrorist" and a "bad terrorist". Image Credit: File photo

Male: Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday said state-sponsored terrorism is the biggest threat to the world and dealing with terrorism and radicalisation marks the biggest challenge before global leaders.

Addressing the Maldives parliament, the People’s Majlis, Modi also called for openness and balance in the Indo-Pacific region.

“Terrorism is the biggest challenge not only for a country or a region but the entire world. No day goes by when terrorists do not strike. They do not have bank accounts but still they have no dearth of money. Where do they get this money from, who gives them. State sponsorship of terrorism is the biggest threat,” Modi said.

He said a mistake was being made by making a distinction between a good terrorist and a bad terrorist.

“This is an artificial divide. It has gone too far. All forces who believe in humanity, should come together. Dealing with terror and radicalisation is the biggest challenge for global leadership,” Modi said.

The PM also called for holding a global conference in a time-bound manner to discuss these challenges and said if there was a delay, the “coming generations will not forgive us”.

India accuses Pakistan of indulging in cross-border terrorism.

Stressing that India was committed to strengthening its deep friendship with Maldives, Modi said that the ‘Neighbourhood First’ policy was a priority for his government.

Earlier, the Maldives government conferred on Modi its highest honour for foreign dignitaries — ‘Order of the Distinguished Rule of Nishan Izzuddeen’. Modi received the award at a ceremony held at the President’s office in Male.

According to a statement, the award was a recognition of the many services Prime Minister Modi has performed to cement the longstanding, amicable ties between India and the Maldives, and for the assistance the Indian government continues to provide to the Maldives under Modi’s stewardship.

The award has earlier been given to the Duke of Edinburgh Earl Mountbatten in 1972, President of South Korea Chun Doo Hwan in 1984, Commonwealth secretary-general Shridath Ramphal in 1989, Saudi Prince Talal Bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud in 2009 and President of Palestine Mahmoud Abbas in 2013 among others.