New Delhi: Calling for “no ifs and buts” in the fight against terrorism, India’s external affairs minister Dr S Jaishankar on Tuesday (January 12) gave an 8-point agenda at the United Nations security council for the “UN system to credibly address the menace of terrorism and ensure effective action”
Speaking at a video conference meet on International cooperation in combating terrorism marking 20 years since the adoption of Resolution 1373 (2001), EAM said “It is time that all nations walk the talk and commit their actions to the goal of zero tolerance for terrorism.”
EAM mentioned that “we must not countenance double standards in this battle. 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.”
UNSC Resolution 1373 was adopted on 28th September 2001 in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks in New York. It calls on UN member states to implement measures to prevent and counter-terror at home and around the world.
During his address, both Pakistan and China got an earful. In a veiled reference EAM slams Pakistan at UNSC. Says, “there are also other States that are clearly guilty of aiding and supporting terrorism, and willfully provide financial assistance and safe havens…the international community must collectively call out the latter and hold them accountable.”
UN’s 1267 committee lists one of the largest numbers of Pakistanis as international terrorists. These include Masood Azhar, Hafiz Saeed, Zaki ur Rehman Lakhvi, many of whom responsible for terror attacks in India, including the 26/11 Mumbai terror attack.
India’s EAM pointed out in the 8 point plan of action that, “linkages between terrorism and transnational organized the crime must be fully recognized and addressed vigorously”, explaining that, “We, in India, have seen the crime syndicate responsible for the 1993 Mumbai bomb blasts not just given State protection but enjoying 5-star hospitality.”
This is the first time India’s EAM spoke at UNSC after India took over its membership on January 1, 2021, for a 2-year period.
On China, without mentioning its name, EAM said, “The practice of placing blocks and holds on listing requests without any rhyme or reason must end. This only erodes our collective credibility.” Remember, Beijing had thwarted bids to list Masood Azhar as an international terrorist for 10 years.
In the plan of action, he listed “enlisting and delisting individuals and entities” under the UN sanctions regimes “must be done objectively, not for political or religious considerations”, calling the “proposals in this regard merit due to examination before circulation.”. This is significant even as Pakistan has been trying to use loopholes in the sanctions regime to get “basic expense” for listed international terrorists like Hafiz Saeed and Zaki ur Rehman Lakhvi.
The focus was also on “Preventing terrorists from accessing financial resources” with Financial Action Task Force (FATF) continuing to “identify and remedy weaknesses in anti-money laundering and counter-terror financing frameworks.”
Tunisian chaired the meet, given it is heading the UN body for the current month. Other key speakers at the meet were Under-Secretary-General of the UN Office of Counter-Terrorism Vladimir Voronkov, Executive Director of the Counter-Terrorism Executive Directorate, Michèle Coninsx. Last week India’s foreign secretary Harsh Shringla addressed a meet at the body highlighting New Delhi’s commitment to the African continent.
The development comes at a time even as India chairs the Taliban sanctions committee and the counter-terrorism committee for the year 2022. With India chairing the 2 committees, the spotlight is expected to increase on Islamabad’s lackluster record on acting on cross-border terror.