Don’t segment terrorists, says India

India continued its diplomatic onslaught against Pakistan on terrorism with Foreign Secretary S. Jaishankar telling a conference of international journalists that no country could segment and differentiate between good and bad terrorists.

“There is a connect between state and non-state actors, which is why we use the word it’s sponsored. The state cannot escape responsibility by saying that it is non-state … That is a false dichotomy — state and non-state,” Mr. Jaishankar said in response to questions at the conference organised by East West Centre on Friday.

The Foreign Secretary’s comments come after Prime Minister Narendra Modi referred to Pakistan as the “one country in the neighbourhood” which “produces and exports terror” while speaking at the G20, Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) and East Asia Summit (EAS).

Mr. Jaishankar observed that there is better sense globally of where terrorism is being bred and what is the nesting ground in the region. “We have always maintained the view that acting against some groups is not a justification for giving a free pass, leave alone active support, against other groups.”

India is keen to push the comprehensive convention on international terror at the upcoming United Nations General Assembly (UNGA). It is also keen to get the United Nations to designate Hafiz Saeed, the chief of Jaish-e-Mohammed. However, the efforts in 2015 were blocked by China which put a technical hold despite the JeM being in the sanctioned list of the Al-Qaeda sanctions committee. The current deadline on that expires by the end of this month.

China being persuaded

On securing China’s support this time, Mr. Jaishankar said efforts were on to convince them. “We have our viewpoint and we have been trying hard to persuade people with a different viewpoint,” he observed.

Defending India’s efforts on the issue, he said, “If there are 15 countries and an overwhelming majority of these countries are going one way there surely must be a reason why that is so.”

Cautioning against seeing India-China relations as a “zero sum game,” Mr. Jaishankar said there was an expectation in India that a partner like China would be appreciative of India’s interests, especially when they were not in conflict with those of China.

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Printable version | Aug 9, 2020 5:41:35 AM |

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