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Terror incidents in the West have roots in Pakistan, say scholars at U.N.

ANI | Updated: Sep 20, 2017 09:16 IST

Geneva [Switzerland], September 20 (ANI): Accusing Pakistan of harbouring and funding terror outfits responsible for violent incidents in the West and South Asia, the scholars at the United Nations have asked Islamabad to act.

The European Foundation for South Asian Studies (EFSAS), a policy research organisation based in Amsterdam, held a side-event on terrorism in South Asia, during the 36th Session of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva.

Dr. Paul Stott, of the University of Leicester, said that many terror incidents have taken place in the U.K., which have its roots in Pakistan.

"My concern sometimes is that there are organisations banned in Pakistan, same organisatons banned in the U.K. and they seem to have maintained political religious structures. They seem to have organised funds. Pakistan should have learnt this lesson from 7/7 bombings where two of the four attackers were trained from Pakistan and obviously, they used those skills to attack the U.K. and that's the real problem," he said.

He added, "We can't keep our eyes out of the ball. We can't take our eyes off Pakistan; we can't take our eyes off the areas where some of the terrorist organisations from Pakistan have an influence and are able to recruit young people."

Dr. Stott used the term 'British Jihadism' to refer to the involvement of a not-so-insignificant number of British Sunni Muslims with Pakistani origin in armed Islamic groups since the early 1990s in Bosnia, Jammu and Kashmir and in Afghanistan.

He said that Pakistan has been using these terror outfits for proxy wars with its neighbours. In India's Jammu and Kashmir, the terror activities are perpetrated by outfits based in Pakistan, he added.

"You have state-sponsored terrorism, where the state simply turns a blind eye, because the action by terrorist groups is in their interest. Obviously, in Kashmir, Pakistan historically has taken the view in its interest, may be served by some of these jihadi organisations. That's the dangerous game to play, because once you start riding that tiger, you don't know what's going to happen and eventually you fall off", said Dr. Paul Scott.

Prof. Rob McCusker, a former FBI officer now teaching at the De Montfort University in Leicester said that Pakistan needs to find a way to deal with terrorism and give emphasis to find the source of funding these outfits.

He said, "I think Pakistan has an historical problem, which is the perception that you have harboured al Qaeda in the past; that there is enough support to al Qaeda and other similar organisations in Pakistan. Similarly, we have heard the questions from the audience today that the feeling in the U.K. that the majority of Muslims don't believe that 9/11 was perpetrated by Muslim terrorists. So, Pakistan has to draw upon its own expertise in its own area. There are a lot of Western-centric ideas given to Pakistan as how they should deal with things. Pakistan, as a country, has an expertise, knowledge and experience to deal with terrorism, far more than anymore in the West. I think we should be learning lessons from Pakistan. Islamabad also has to take a very systematic approach; they have to be shown to be engaging in all of the anti-terrorism efforts around the world that includes looking at the financing of terrorism which is a major issue. Not so much hiding criminal organisations there."

Burzine Waghmar, of the University of London's School of Oriental and African Studies, and Prof. Boris Wilke, a senior researcher and a political scientist at the Institute for Interdisciplinary Research on Conflict and Violence of the Bielefeld University in Germany, also spoke about terrorism and the Kashmir issue.

The event was moderated by Junaid Qureshi, a Kashmiri writer from the Valley of Kashmir and Director of EFSAS. (ANI)