Minister of external affairs S Jaishankar on Tuesday called for political will to combat terrorism across the globe. “There must be no ifs and buts in the fight,” he said while addressing the UNSC Open Debate, according to news agency ANI.
Calling out “double standards,” the foreign minister said “Terrorists are terrorists, there are no good and bad ones. Those who propagate this distinction have an agenda and those who cover up for them are just as culpable.”
The Union minister pointed out that some states lack the legal or operational frameworks and technical expertise to detect, investigate and prosecute terrorist financing cases while there are others that are guilty of aiding and supporting terrorism provide financial assistance and safe havens.
“While we must enhance the capacities of the former, the international community must collectively call out the latter and hold them accountable,” he told the UN members.
Jaishankar asserted, “Nor should we allow terrorism to be justified & terrorists glorified. All members must fulfill the obligations enshrined in int’l counter-terrorism instruments,” according to ANI.
The foreign minister said that enlisting and delisting of individuals and entities under the UN sanctions regimes must be done objectively and not for political or religious considerations. “Proposals in this regard merit due examination before circulation” he added.
According to the minister, terrorist groups and lone-wolf attackers have enhanced their capabilities in the recent years by gaining access to emerging technologies, including drones, virtual currencies and encrypted communications. Social media networks have contributed to radicalization and recruitment of youth, he added.
Emphasising on the seriousness of the times, Jaishankar said the Covid-19 pandemic has only aggravated the situation further. The relative isolation and extended disruption due to the lockdowns and the associated distress and economic uncertainty has made the world more susceptible to radicalizing narratives and extremist propaganda, he said in his address.
He said the linkages between terrorism and transnational organized crime need to be fully recognized and addressed vigorously. “We, in India, have seen crime syndicate responsible for the 1993 Mumbai bomb blasts not just given State protection but enjoying 5-star hospitality,” he was quoted as saying by ANI. (Hindustan Times with inputs from ANI)