INDIA has borne the brunt of terrorism in recent decades, having witnessed the Parliament attack in 2001, followed by Mumbai (2008), Pathankot and Uri (both in 2016) and last year’s Pulwama carnage. It was back in 1996 — three years after the Mumbai bomb blasts — that India had proposed a draft document on the Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism (CCIT) at the United Nations, but there has been no implementation so far as the member states are not on the same page over the definition of terrorism and its forms. Paying tributes to the martyrs of the Parliament attack on its 19th anniversary on Sunday, Vice-President Venkaiah Naidu made a renewed pitch for the UN Convention. He stated that while many countries across the world endorsed India’s stand, there were some which were being unsupportive out of ‘narrow geopolitical considerations’. Though Naidu didn’t name any errant country, the allusion was apparently to the likes of China, Pakistan and Turkey.
Naidu’s statement coincided with External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar’s remark that cross-border terrorism is a ‘perennial problem’ for India. The role of the Pakistani deep state in terror attacks on Indian soil has been repeatedly established. The prospect of being blacklisted by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), a global terror financing watchdog, has forced Pakistan to crack down on ‘global terrorists’ like Hafiz Saeed. However, such desperate measures have failed to convince India and the international community of Pakistan’s sincerity about stamping out terrorism emanating from its territory.
As India occupies its seat in the UN Security Council next month for a two-year term, drumming up support for the CCIT should be among its top priorities. In June this year, India had asserted that streamlining the sanctions against terrorists and terror entities would be one of its focus areas at the global high table. With extremist violence becoming a worldwide phenomenon, India should impress upon the UN the dire need to close ranks against countries that aid or abet terrorism.