Chairing a UNSC event on the threat from terrorist acts, foreign minister S Jaishankar asked the council to not take a selective view of the issue as he underlined India’s concerns about developments in Afghanistan and its continued efforts to fight terrorist activities emanating from safe havens and sanctuaries from across its borders.
Official sources said UNSC member-states joined India’s call for a zero-tolerance policy towards terrorism in all its forms and manifestations leading to the adoption of a “very strong, substantive and forward looking” press statement that outlined key concerns, especially to ensure a “strict check on terror financing and bringing the perpetrators of terror attacks to justice”.
“Whether it is in Afghanistan or against India, groups like Lashkar-e-Taiba and Jaish-e-Muhammed continue to operate with both impunity and encouragement. It is, therefore, vital this council does not take a selective, tactical or even a complacent view of the problems we face,” said Jaishankar.
“We must never countenance sanctuaries for terrorists or overlook the raising of their resources. And when we see state hospitality being extended to those with innocents’ blood on their hands, we should never lack the courage to call out this double-speak. We heard from the briefers of the aggravating attack of the pandemic. What is true of Covid is even more true of terrorism: none of us are safe until all of us are safe,” he added. He said some countries continued to subvert the collective resolve to fight terrorism.
While the minister didn’t directly name Pakistan, he said it was a serious cause of concern that various terror organisations like ISIL, al-Qaeda, LeT, JeM, Haqqani Network and their frontal organisations were growing in strength and gaining new grounds “with impunity, encouragement and state sponsored hospitality”.
The minister said In India’s own immediate neighborhood, ISIL-Khorasan (ISIL-K) had become more energetic, seeking to constantly expand its footprint and that heightened activities of the proscribed Haqqani Network justified growing anxiety about Afghanistan.
Jaishankar recalled 2008 Mumbai terror attack, 2016 Pathankot airbase attack and the 2019 suicide bombing at Pulwama and expressed solidarity and sympathy with victims and their families. He said India has been in the forefront of global counter-terrorism efforts including under the auspices of the UN.
The minister was chairing UNSC Open Briefing on ‘Threats to International Peace and Security Caused by Terrorist Acts’. As a country which has borne the brunt of cross-border terrorism, sources said, this will be priority issue for India during its remaining term in the security council as well.
India will be chairing the UNSC counter terror committee in 2022, and hopes to build upon the gains from this event.
Jaishankar also called for a swift adoption of the Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism – piloted by India, which is seen as the key to future global counter-terrorism efforts. He also asked for council’s consideration of his “eight-point action plan” on terrorism that he had announced earlier this year and encouraged member states to collectively build on these principles.