NEW DELHI (AP) — Afghanistan's national security adviser said Monday that associating terrorism with Islam was inappropriate given the suffering Muslims have endured at the hands of terrorists and the sacrifices they have made to defeat such violence.
The South Asian region, including Afghanistan and Pakistan, had the "highest concentration of organized terrorists anywhere in the world," Hanif Atmar said. He noted that 20 out of 98 groups designated by the U.S. as terrorist organizations were operating in the region.
Afghanistan has lost 10,500 people to terrorism over the last 14 months, with an average of 28 people dying each day, he said.
"It is inappropriate to associate terrorism with Islam, because it fails to understand, to appreciate, the sacrifices that the Muslims are making in order to defeat terrorism, and the suffering that the Muslims have had at the hands of the terrorists," he told participants of the Asian Security Conference, being held this year in New Delhi.
India's Defense Minister Manohar Parrikar said a global response to countering terrorism must come from Asia, since "Asians being subjected to the terrorist violence carried out by four out of five deadliest terror outfits in the world."