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External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar (Image Credit: UN TV)
External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar (Image Credit: UN TV)

We cannot let another '9/11 of New York' or '26/11 of Mumbai' happen again: Jaishankar at UNSC

ANI | Updated: Dec 15, 2022 23:04 IST


New York [US], December 15 (ANI): Calling for a comprehensive, contemporary and result-oriented approach to challenges faced by global counter-terrorism architecture, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on Thursday emphasized that the world cannot let another "9/11 of New York" or "26/11 of Mumbai" happen again.
Addressing the UNSC briefing on 'Global Counterterrorism Approach: Challenges and Way Forward', Jaishankar said no individual state should endeavour to seek political gain from terrorism and "none of us should ever put up with such calculations".
In his address, Jaishankar took veiled digs at Pakistan for cross-border terrorism against India and at China for blocking the black-listing of Pakistan-based terrorists at the United Nations.
He said old habits and established networks are still alive, especially in South Asia and the contemporary epicenter of terrorism remains very much alive and active, "whatever gloss may be applied to minimize unpleasant realities".
Jaishankar said the working methods of relevant mechanisms against terrorism at the UN is also a subject of legitimate concern.
"At one level, we have seen levels of protection that come close to justification. Then, there are evidence-backed proposals that are put on hold without assigning adequate reason. Conversely, there has even been recourse to anonymity so as to avoid taking ownership of untenable cases," he said.
"How do we deal with double standards, both inside and outside this Council. For too long, some have persisted with the approach 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 very people whose toleration extends this far," he added.
Jaishankar said nurse Anjali Kulthe, a valiant victim of the 26/11 terror attacks, who has vividly has shared her recollection of the human cost of terrorism.
"Her testimony today is a stark reminder to the Council and the international community that justice is yet to be delivered to the victims of several terrorist incidents, including the 26/11 Mumbai attacks," he said.
Jaishankar said the world cannot afford attention deficit or tactical compromises in the battle against terrorism.
"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 work in progress. Combating terrorism is a battle in which there is no respite. The world cannot afford attention deficit or tactical compromises. It is most of all for the Security Council to lead the global response in this regard," he said.
The minister said there is a need to overcome political differences and manifest a zero-tolerance approach.
"Taking all these into account, we need to adopt a comprehensive, contemporary and result-oriented approach to this set of challenges. No individual state should endeavor to seek political gain from terrorism and none of us collectively should ever put up with such calculations. When it comes to tackling terrorism, we must overcome our political differences and manifest a zero-tolerance approach."
He said the Council is well aware that terrorism is an existential threat to international peace and security.
"It knows no borders, nationality, or race, and is a challenge that the international community must combat collectively together."
Jaishankar said India faced the horrors of cross-border terrorism long before the world took serious note of it.
He said the briefing is a part of India's ongoing efforts in the Security Council to re-invigorate its counter-terrorism agenda.
"And that is overdue because the threat of terrorism has actually 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. But somewhere in all this, we cannot forget that old habits and established networks are still alive, especially in South Asia."
He highlighted four specific challenges with which the counter-terrorism architecture is currently grappling including terror financing and state culpability, whether by commission or omission.
"The world may no longer be willing to buy the justifications and cover-ups as in the past. Through bitter experience, it knows that terror is terror, whatever the explanation. The question now arises as to the responsibilities of the state from whose soil such actions are planned, supported and perpetrated."
He said there is a need to ensure the integrity and accountability of the counter-terror multilateral mechanisms and their working methods. "They are on occasion opaque, sometimes driven by agendas and at times, pushed without evidence."
The minister spoke of the need to address double-standards in countering terrorism that lead to concerns of politicization.
"The same criteria are not applied to sanctioning and prosecuting terrorists. It would seem sometimes that the ownership of terrorism is more important than its perpetration or its consequences."
The minister said that countering threats from the misuse of new and emerging technologies by terrorists, radicals and extremists is likely to be the next frontier of the battle.
"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."
He said terrorist groups have also been taking advantage of the openness of democratic societies, by spreading false narratives, inciting hatred, and radicalizing ideologies.
"By now, it is well established where and how terrorist organizations operate, and under what kind of protection. Activities like recruitment, financing and motivation are often done in the open. The days when it could be said that we are unaware are now behind us. Consequently, assigning responsibility is that much easier," he said.
"The response of the sponsors of terrorism is not to give up but to conduct and execute their agenda at an arms-length. To do this, they create narratives of limitations and difficulties. We buy such explanations at our own peril. The suggestion that states who are apparently capable on everything else but are only helpless when it comes to terrorism is ludicrous. Accountability must therefore be the bedrock of counter-terrorism," he added.
The minister said when India began its current term in the Council last January, he had proposed an 8-point action plan on Counter Terrorism.
"I am glad that some of the action five points have found reflection in the Presidential Statement (PRST) adopted by the Council at the beginning of this meeting."
He said as the Chair of the Counter-Terrorism Committee of the Security Council this year, India has striven to bring these principles into the counter-terrorism architecture at the UN and into the debate on terrorism at this Council.
Referring to the Special Meeting of the Counter-Terrorism Committee in end October held in Delhi and Mumbai, Jaishankar said the "Delhi Declaration" adopted is a landmark document and "we hope that this Council will build on it further". (ANI)

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