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UNSC should not be misused with ”retaliatory intent” to name innocent civilians as terrorists: India

PTI, Oct 8, 2020, 10:53 AM IST

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United Nations: The UN Security Council should not be misused by countries with “retaliatory intent to name innocent civilians as terrorist” without credible evidence by invoking non-transparent working methods and procedures, India has said, referring to Pakistan’s failed attempt to get four Indian nationals listed under the 1267 Al Qaeda Sanctions Committee.

Pakistan had submitted the names of Indian nationals Angara Appaji, Gobinda Patnaik, Ajoy Mistry and Venumadhav Dongara for designation under the 1267 Al Qaeda Sanctions Committee of the UN Security Council.

However, Pakistan’s attempt was thwarted last month after the US, the UK, France, Germany and Belgium blocked the move in the Council to list Appaji and Patnaik. According to sources, no evidence was given by Pakistan in its case to get the individuals listed. Similarly, an earlier attempt by Pakistan to list Mistry and Dongara was blocked by the Council around June/July.

“We believe that UN Security Council continues to be an effective forum for the maintenance of international peace and security and combating terrorism.

“However, it should also be ensured that the forum is not misused by countries with retaliatory intent to name innocent civilians as terrorist without credible evidence by invoking non-transparent working methods and procedures,” First Secretary and Legal Adviser in India’s Permanent Mission to the UN Yedla Umasankar said on Tuesday at the 6th Committee of the UN General Assembly on ”Measures to eliminate international terrorism”.

Without naming Pakistan, he said, “India has been and continues to be a victim of terrorism sponsored across our borders. We have had firsthand experience of the cruel link between transnational organised crime and terrorism.”

Umashankar said India condemns terrorism in all its forms and manifestations and no cause whatsoever or grievance can justify terrorism, including state-sponsored cross-border terrorism.

“Our fight against terrorism should not only seek to eliminate terrorists and disrupt terror organisations/networks, but should also identify/hold accountable and take strong measures against states that encourage, support and finance terrorism, provide sanctuary to terrorists and terror groups,” he said.

Umasankar said the fight against terrorism has to be unrelenting and across all fronts and the flow of resources to terror linked entities needs to be completely stopped by collective inter-state efforts.

“The international community cannot and should not be selective in dealing with the terrorists groups or in dismantling terror infrastructure. India strongly condemns direct or indirect financial assistance provided by some States to terrorist groups and/or individuals members thereof,” he said.

India also called on the need to work together to expose and destroy the linkages that exist between terrorists and their supporters.

“We need an international mechanism to ensure accountability and justice, enhanced dialogue and broaden understanding amongst member states,” Umasankar said.

While the threat emanating from international terrorism is looming large, the inability of the UN to agree on a Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism remains “one of the most glaring shortcomings” in the international legislative framework, which could have boosted enforcement efforts to destroy safe havens of terrorists, their financial flows and their support networks, he noted.

Umasankar also underscored the importance and need for early finalisation and conclusion of the draft Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism (CCIT), which will reflect the international community’s commitment to cooperate in combating terrorism.

He said with advancement in technology and an over flowing cyber world, terrorists are gaining access to infinite resources of “DO IT YOURSELF” kits on issues ranging from making bombs to executing, beheadings besides securing communications and flow of funds.

“The proponents and perpetrators of these nefarious acts cleverly adopt emerging technologies for furthering their ideologies and accomplishing their evil acts,” Umasankar said.

Asserting that the only effective way to tackle terrorism is by way of concerted international cooperation and genuine collaboration among the States, Umasankar said combined international efforts by way of extradition, prosecution, information exchange and capacity building go a long way in countering the menace of terrorism which is threatening the global community.

Umasankar said normative efforts at the United Nations need to be coordinated through collaboration with other fora like Financial Action Task Force (FATF). He said the Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy (GCTS) being discussed by the UN General Assembly over the last decade has resulted in little impact on the ground.

He also stressed that while making every effort to combat terrorism, the UN and its member states should consider the rights of victims of terrorism and obligation of states towards the victims of terrorism under international law.

“A vast majority of victims of terrorism are often women and children. It’s high time for us to try and strengthen efforts to achieve the objective of putting in place a global legal framework in the form of CCIT to counter a global scourge. This will provide a legal basis for global fight against terrorism as all member states will have a multilateral platform to counter terrorism,” Umasankar said.

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