New Delhi: External Affairs Minister Dr S Jaishankar has lashed out at Pakistan for continuing to be an ‘epicentre’ of terrorism and also pointed out that the expansion of Al-Qaida, Da’esh, Boko Haram, and Al Shabab are all a matter of deep concern.
“We cannot let another “9/11 of New York” or “26/11 of Mumbai” happen again. In the last two decades, terrorism has been significantly countered, and its justification de-legitimized. But this remains a work in progress,” he said.
“…The threat of terrorism has become even more serious. We have seen the expansion of Al-Qaida, Da’esh, Boko Haram and Al Shabab and their affiliates. At the other end of the spectrum are ‘lone wolf’ attacks inspired by online radicalization and biases,” the Minister said, presiding over the ‘UNSC Briefing: Global Counterterrorism Approach: Challenges and Way Forward’ in New York.
He asserted that combating terrorism is a battle in which there is no respite.
“The world cannot afford attention deficits or tactical compromises”.
“Somewhere in all of this”, he pointed out, the global community “cannot forget that old habits and established networks are still alive, especially in South Asia. The contemporary epicentre of terrorism remains very much active, whatever gloss may be applied to minimize unpleasant realities”.
Dr Jaishankar did not spare China; without naming it, he said, “…there are evidence-backed proposals that are put on hold without assigning adequate reason”.
He further said, “Conversely, there has even been recourse to anonymity so as to avoid taking ownership of untenable cases”.
Moreover, he said, for too long, some have persisted in believing that terrorism is just another instrument or stratagem.
“Those invested in terrorism have used such cynicism to carry on. It is not just plain wrong but could be downright dangerous, even for the people whose toleration extends this far,” he said, adding that extremists, radicals, and terrorists are also misusing the technologies.
“Over the years, they have diversified their funding portfolio and expanded their recruitment toolkit. They exploit the anonymity afforded by new and emerging technologies such as virtual currencies for fundraising and finances. Terrorist groups have also been taking advantage of the openness of democratic societies, spreading false narratives, inciting hatred, and radicalizing ideologies,” Dr Jaishankar said.
It may be pointed out that from time to time, China, in collaboration with Pakistan, had blocked India’s bid to ban terrorists and JeM chief Masood Azhar and get him designated a terrorist by the UN.
In 2016 within weeks after the Uri terror attack, at least 15 countries were willing to designate Azhar but China, with its veto powers, decided to block the move.
In March 2019 also, a similar strategy was adopted by China after India convinced many global powers to support Jaish after the Pakistan-based militant group Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) had attacked security forces at Pulwama.