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NSA seeks broader convention on terror

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Flags disunited approach to tackle terror, outdated methods

Calling for a unified global response to the challenges of terrorism, cyber-warfare and maritime security, National Security Adviser Ajit Doval said here on Tuesday that it was time the United Nations passed a comprehensive convention on terror.

Speaking to 70 international strategic experts, including key officials from the U.S., Israel and the new Afghanistan government, at the Munich Security Group meeting organised by the Observer Research Foundation, he said the convention, first proposed by the National Democratic Alliance regime in 2001, had been held up by countries such as Pakistan which would not agree to describe groups they wanted to call “freedom fighters” as terrorists.

“The world has changed since 2001. In those days, no one saw India’s point of view on Afghanistan and Pakistan. But Osama bin Laden’s capture in Pakistan has changed that,” Mr. Doval said. He suggested it was time to work on the Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism for which Prime Minister Narendra Modi made a call at the United Nations General Assembly in September.

The speech, a rare event for the normally low-profile NSA, gave a view of the Modi government’s foreign policy, which, Mr. Doval said, “everyone is curious about.” He said the three major challenges in dealing with security threats were invisible “cyber” enemies, outdated intelligence-gathering techniques and a disunited approach to tackle terror.

To a question from The Hindu on the U.S.’s decision to attack IS, though Washington had earlier helped its affiliated groups against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, Mr. Doval said, “They cannot have a dual policy towards terrorists. Even if the cause is to save women and children from violence, no one can resort to terrorism as a means.”

Mr. Doval said talks with all SAARC neighbours and resolving border disputes with China were priorities for the government. He warned that security in Afghanistan “could fail if social and economic indicators were not monitored.” The NSA called it a “global responsibility to ensure there is no external interference in Afghanistan’s security.”

Speaking to presspersons on the sidelines of the conference, he said Afghanistan’s new government under President Ashraf Ghani counted on India as an “all-weather friend” to continue training and supplying equipment to Kabul.

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Printable version | Jan 19, 2020 1:21:47 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/nsa-seeks-broader-convention-on-terror/article6524784.ece

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