Tribune News Service
New Delhi, January 12
External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on Tuesday presented an eight-point action plan to the UN Security Council that included the scrapping of “blocks and holds without any rhyme or reason” on a person or organisation determined to have promoted terrorism.
Jaishankar’s broadside was against China that kept a “hold” on Pulwama attack mastermind Masood Azhar from being designated international terrorist till the US warned China that it will take the matter to the UNSC.
Jaishankar said his eight points would ensure that all nations “walk the talk” against terrorism and truly commit themselves to the goal of zero tolerance against terrorist activity.
Speaking at the UNSC for the first time during an open debate on ‘International cooperation in combating terrorism’, Jaishankar acknowledged that some states don’t have the legal framework and technical expertise to detect and prosecute terrorist financing cases. “We must enhance their capacities” but the international committee must call out those guilty of providing safe havens and hold them accountable, he said in a broadside against Pakistan.
The eight points suggested by Jaishankar for effective action against terrorism are: (i) there should be no “ifs and buts” in calling out terrorism; (ii) there should be no double standards. “Terrorist are Terrorists. There is no good or bad distinction and those who cover up are just as culpable”; (iii) increase effectiveness of sanctions by removing the practice of “blocks and holds without any rhyme or reason” as it erodes collective credibility.
Jaishankar’s fourth point was about discouraging exclusivity as it facilitates radicalism by breeding fear and mistrust among communities. He also said listing and de-listing under the UNSC regime must be objective and not for political or religious considerations. The linkages between terrorism and trans-national organised crime must be recognised and addressed vigorously.
Jaishankar’s concluding two points were about strengthening the FATF’s anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financing frameworks and adequate funding to UN counter-terrorism bodies.
Jaishankar also drew attention to the pandemic-induced isolation and associated distress that has made the world more susceptible radicalising narratives and extremist propaganda. He also pointed out that terrorist groups and lone-wolf operatives have started using new technology such as drones and blockchains besides using social media network to radicalise and recruite youth.