India’s straight talk at UNSC meet

Speaking on occasion of special meeting of the United Nations Security Council’s Counter-Terrorism Committee on 28 and 29 October at Mumbai and New Delhi respectively, External Affairs Minister Jaishankar rightly pointed out that the key conspirators and planners of the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks continue to remain protected and unpunished, and stressed that India understands the cost of terrorism more than others. Mincing no words he categorically said that when it comes to proscribing some terrorists, the UNSC has “regrettably” been unable to act in some cases because of “political considerations”, an apparent reference to China which has blocked the UNSC sanction of Pakistan-based terrorists on several occasions. Since terrorist organisations require funds and resources to function and to undertake activities, curbing terror financing is a key aspect of tackling the menace.
Who else can better understand the menace of terrorism than a country which has faced the main brunt of terrorism since 1980’s. While the rest of world acknowledged the same after 9/11 but from late 80’s list of terrorist attacks on Indian soil is now just beyond counting- Jammu and Kashmir Legislative Assembly (2001) attack along with numerous time to attacks on military establishments in J&K, Parliament attack (2001), suicide bombing near Indian embassy in Kabul (2008), terror attacks in Mumbai (2008), Akshardham temple in Gujarat (2002), Pathankot (2016), Uri (2016), Pulwama (2019) to name a few. While Ajmal Kasab, captured Pakistani terrorist of Mumbai attack, was brought to justice but all others perpetrators are roaming free. Pakistan’s collusion in the Pulwama terrorist attack was accepted by country’s Science and Technology Minister Fawad Chaudhary on the floor of National Assembly. Dossier after dossier, years after year, different Governments at Centre pursuing relentlessly to bring perpetrators of these attacks to justice but it’s Pakistan’s state policy to create and foster terrorist groups to engage in low-intensity conflicts in India. Several Government sponsored terrorist groups, distinguished by their sectarian background are operating in and out of Pakistan. The list includes Al Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent (AQIS), Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), Hizbul Mujahideen (HM), Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM), Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LeJ), Harkat-ul-Mujahideen (HuM) and many more with names changed but same ideology, with a well-established nexus between Pakistan’s civilian Government, military, Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI).
More important is the fact that all 15 members, including UK foreign secretary James Cleverly, Chinese Deputy Consul General Nancy Wang and UN Under-Secretary General Vladimir Voronkov, stood by External Affairs Minister of India for a solemn wreath-laying ceremony at the Taj Mahal Palace Hotel in Mumbai, which was one of the main targets of the attackers killing 166 people over four days by a 10-member team of the Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Taiba(LeT), including 31 at the Taj Hotel itself. EAM Jaishankar again reiterated that decades of cross-border terror has not and will not weaken our commitment to fight back. India reminded the world that all must rise above our political differences to address this scourge. The battle against terrorism must be fought resolutely at all fronts, all situations and all places as the “shocking” terror incident was an attack not just on Mumbai, but on the international community and this undermines the collective credibility and collective interest.
Resurgent India’s reminder at Counter Terrorism meeting is of utmost importance as despite corroborating evidence on Pakistan’s role in sponsoring terrorism abroad, the international community has repeatedly turned a blind eye. Instead of putting Pakistan under the ‘High-Risk Jurisdiction’ category (Black List) for its incessant support towards terror financing and money laundering FATF put Pakistan on the list of ‘Jurisdictions Under Increased Monitoring’ (Grey List) for years and in October 2022 itself Pakistan has been taken off even from Grey List. With the strong stance taken by External Affairs Ministry, under the leadership of PM Modi, one hopes time has come for all countries to come together and act against terrorism collectively at the earliest to make world a better peaceful place.