India has hit out at the functioning of Security Council’s sanctions committees, saying it reflects “very short term narrow priorities” of “some” nations, months after China scuttled its bid to get JeM chief Masood Azhar designated as a terrorist by the UN.
Counsellor in India’s Permanent Mission to the UN Abhishek Singh said at the UN that several measures, including Security Council counter-terrorism resolutions, seek to address the threat of international terrorism.
“The issue, however, is less of technical fine-tuning and more of mobilising a collective political will that reflects the oft-quoted ‘zero tolerance’ to terrorism and gives full implementation to even the measures envisaged under such frameworks,” Singh said at an open briefing of the Counter- Terrorism Committee on foreign terrorist fighters yesterday.
“This is reflected in the continuing lack of agreement to finalise a Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism that would send a strong message of a united international community.
This is also reflected in the way the Sanctions Committees function reflecting very short term narrow priorities on part of some,” he said.
Singh pointed out that a Security Council report issued in December last year noted a “pattern” of terrorist attacks in the context of India “that began to emerge more than two decades ago and shows no signs of abatement”.
The report further noted that, “India continues to be among the world’s most consistently targeted states” and that “since the 1990s, it has endured multiple terrorist attacks linked to individuals who have trained or fought with al- Qaeda associates in Pakistan and Afghanistan”.
“While in India we have continued to improve our capacities to deal with and counter such terrorist attacks on our territory, where the involvement of foreign terrorist fighters has been repeatedly clearly established, we have found only limited international cooperation forthcoming to address this challenge,” Singh said.
Outlining the measures taken in India to counter terrorism, he said the steps include proscribing various entities and individuals who have been involved in acts of terrorism, including the designation of ISIS.
“It is now being increasingly recognised that this is a challenge that concerns us all and that no country is immune to this threat.
Foreign Terrorist Fighters from almost 100 countries are believed to be mobilised by ISIL.
While there have been isolated instances of effective international cooperation involving a few or a group of countries, a much larger scale of collective effort is necessary,” he argued.
Singh asserted that the “non-local” nature of terrorism, as reflected most clearly in the growing phenomenon of foreign terrorist fighters, means that no single country, acting alone, has the capacity to deal with this problem effectively.
Previously, India has slammed the UN sanctions committee for taking a “selective approach” in tackling terrorism when a technical hold was put on its application to include the name of Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammad chief Azhar on the committee’s list of designated terrorists.
“At the same time, the impact that the spread of violent extremism and the returning fighters have on societies also demonstrates increasingly that no country can assume that it will remain safe by not cooperating with others on this issue,” Singh said.
He said any support of any kind to terrorist acts or even lack of any action in countering such acts when they target another country, can only lead to disastrous consequences for all.
“Only a genuine recognition of this can lead us to begin to collaborate to jointly address this challenge that is posing a threat to all our societies,” the Indian diplomat said.
India has for a long time been advocating a much closer international cooperation on countering terrorism globally, Singh said, expressing hope that the international community will now finally begin addressing the threat of terrorism “collectively with the seriousness it deserves”.
The Pakistani representative said there is a need for trust building and an atmosphere of cooperation in the region, especially in the South Asian region to tackle the threat of terrorism.
“As my colleague from India mentioned, we need to take national measures but the problem and its magnitude are beyond our borders.
Many of the terrorist acts that have happened in Pakistan have happened because of influences from abroad,” the Pakistani representative said.
He said regional cooperation can be achieved by “creating an atmosphere of cooperation in the region and building trust between the countries of the region”.