Equating Lashkar-e-Taiba and Jaish-e-Muhammad with the Islamic State and Al-Qaeda, Prime Minister Narendra Modi Friday made a radical suggestion — that government functionaries from countries that support terrorists be barred from entering G20 countries.
While Modi was taking aim at Pakistan, in the presence of its all-weather friend China, sources said this is one of the new suggestions drafted by National Security Advisor Ajit Doval to combat terrorism.
The 21-paragraph joint statement issued by G20 leaders on Friday, in its very first paragraph, said that “terrorist safe havens” must be eliminated in every part of the world.
“We, the leaders of the G20, strongly condemn all terrorist attacks worldwide and stand united and firm in the fight against terrorism and its financing. These atrocious acts have strengthened our resolve to cooperate to enhance our security and protect our citizens. Terrorism is a global scourge that must be fought and terrorist safe havens eliminated in every part of the world,” the statement said.
This 11-point plan was proposed by Modi as the lead speaker at the G20 leaders’ session on “fighting terrorism”, organised by German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
Seated between Australian PM Malcolm Turnbull and French President Emmanuel Macron, Modi named LeT, JeM and Haqqani network as terrorist groups affecting South Asia, and said that “some countries use terrorists for achieving their political objectives” — an apparent reference to Pakistan.
“There are various forms of terrorism. Different names but same ideology. Daesh and Al-Qaeda in the Middle East; LeT, JeM and Haqqani network in South Asia; Boko Haram in Nigeria, but their basic ideology is the same. Naam anek soch ek (Many names but the same thought and ideology). The basis of their ideology is hatred and killing of people,” he told G20 leaders.
The Indian PM also suggested that national lists of suspected terrorists be exchanged between G20 countries and joint action be taken against such terrorists and their supporters. He also proposed that for effective cooperation, legal processes like extradition be simplified and expedited.
He also called for deradicalisation programmes and exchange of best practices within G20 nations. Pitching for early adoption of the Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism, he asked for setting up of a mechanism between National Security Advisors of G20 countries. Modi said that terrorists are using cyberspace to radicalise and recruit youth. “Terrorists are better networked than countries… the scope of our actions are mainly national. The international cooperation is weak,” he said.
Modi used two occasions available to him to stress on terrorism — once at the BRICS meeting, and again at the leaders’ session on “fighting terrorism”.
At the BRICS informal meet, Modi said that BRICS has been a strong voice and needs to show leadership on terrorism and global economy. “G20 should collectively oppose terrorism financing, franchises, safe havens, support and sponsors,” Modi said.
The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) and other mechanisms to choke sources of funds to terrorists should be strengthened, he said. On the pattern of FATF, an Explosives Action Task Force should be constituted “so that the sources of deadly arms reaching the terrorists can be ended”, he said.
Modi also pitched for concrete cooperation among G20 countries with a focus on cyber security. The joint statement said the leaders reaffirm that all measures on countering terrorism need to be implemented in accordance with the UN Charter and all obligations under international law, including international human rights law.
“We call for the implementation of existing international commitments on countering terrorism, including the UN Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy, and compliance with relevant resolutions and targeted sanctions by the UN Security Council relating to terrorism. We commit to continue to support UN efforts to prevent and counter terrorism,” the joint statement said.