Urging UN Security Council members not to make false distinctions of “good” terrorists and “bad” terrorists, External Affairs minister S. Jaishankar made indirect references to both China and Pakistan for delaying the process of designating terrorist individuals and entities, as well as failing to stop the funding of terror.
In a speech to a UNSC session — convened to mark two decades since the 1373 anti-terror resolution was passed after the 9/11 attacks in the U.S. — Mr. Jaishankar called for “zero tolerance to terrorism”.
“The practice of placing blocks and holds on listing requests without any rhyme or reason must end. This only erodes our collective credibility,” Mr. Jaishankar told UNSC members, in a reference to a number of blocks and holds China placed on designating Pakistan-based terrorists including Jaish-e-Mohammad Chief Masood Azhar before agreeing to put him on the UNSC’s 1267 sanction list in May 2019.
Without directly identifying Pakistan, Mr. Jaishankar also referred to states that are “clearly guilty of aiding and supporting terrorism, and wilfully provide financial assistance and safe havens” to them. In a reference to underworld don and terror financier Dawood Ibrahim, he spoke of “5- star treatment” he reportedly enjoys in Pakistan.
“We, in India, have seen the crime syndicate responsible for the 1993 Mumbai bomb blasts not just given State protection but enjoying 5-star hospitality,” said Mr. Jaishankar, listing an eight-point “Action plan” in order to “credibly” address the menace of terrorism.
Working with FATF
Mr. Jaishankar also made a call for “ enhanced UN coordination with FATF ”, just as a meeting of the FATF’s Asia Pacific Joint Group (APJG) got underway, which will review Pakistan’s performance on countering terrorism financing and money laundering, and send recommendations to the FATF Plenary body on whether to continue to keep it on its greylist next month.
“Counter Terrorism is a priority area for India during this term and [it] looks forward to contributing to the meeting that seeks not only to identify emerging trends but to also laying the groundwork for common priorities that would shape the future multilateral action in the domain of Counter Terrorism,” sources said, explaining the context of the speech.
India has been asked to chair three important committees including the Taliban sanctions committee, the counter-terrorism committee and the Libya sanctions committee during its tenure at the UNSC. Dismissing reports that India had been “cut out” of the other important 1267 Al Qaeda Sanctions committee that is critical to terrorist listings on Pakistan, an official told The Hindu that for India, it was the Taliban sanctions committee that was a priority, as it gives India a role in the Afghanistan peace process. The official also pointed out that it is significant that India has been chosen to chair the committee, which normally goes to a “non-neighbour” to chair.
The speech, at the UNSC open debate on “International Cooperation in combating terrorism 20 years after the adoption of 1373” marked the first intervention by the External Affairs Minister since India began its two-year tenure at the Security Council, along with Ministers from other countries that were elected along with India: Estonia, Ireland, Mexico and Norway.
Speaking at the same event, the UK and U.S. also referred to the growing threat from “right wing terrorism”, and “racially and ethnically motivated attacks”, with the U.S. representative announcing that the Washington had designated a “white supremacist group” as a globally designated terror entity for the first time last year.