In a veiled attack on Pakistan, India on Thursday said there should be zero-tolerance towards terrorism as it sought a united global effort against all those who support or help generate funds for terrorists.
Addressing the inaugural session of the ‘No Money For Terror’ conference here, Union Minister of State for Home G Kishan Reddy also expressed India’s concern over the tacit support some nations are extending to terror groups.
There is a need for a united global effort against all those who support terror or help generate finances for terrorism, he said, without naming any country.
It was a matter of great concern that despite a collective intent, there has been obvious loopholes in terms of “conscientiously implementing the resolutions adopted by the UN Security Council by certain member nations”, he added.
Pakistan has been blamed for sponsoring and supporting terrorist groups like Lashkar-e-Taiba, Jaish-e-Mohammad and Hizbul Mujahideen, which were responsible for hundreds of attacks in India, including 26/11 Mumbai attack in 2008 and the attack on Parliament in 2001.
Reddy said at the international conference, being attended by 65 countries, that India, being a victim of cross-border terrorism, advocates zero-tolerance towards terror.
The minister said despite the killing of Osama bin Laden in 2011, several active affiliates of Al Qaeda still exist in many parts of the world and cautioned that despite recent elimination of ISIS chief Abu Bakr Al Baghdadi, there is no room to construe that the ‘Caliphate’ would cease to survive.
Reddy proposed four points for inclusion in the resolution of the conference. Terrorism, he said, is the single biggest threat to peace, security and development and nations must expedite the finalisation of a comprehensive convention on international terrorism under the United Nations.
The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) standards must be effectively enforced and UN listings/FATF should not be politicised, the minister suggested.
He also called for initiation of discussion on countering financing of radicalisation, which would prevent radicalisation – an essential prerequisite of terrorism.
The minister is leading a high-powered five-member delegation, including Director General of the National Investigation Agency Y C Modi.
“India has maintained continuous and close co-operation with several countries on counter-terrorism and counter-terror financing. Such cooperation has led to many successful operations to neutralise and preempt terror designs,” Reddy said.
The minister reiterated India’s unwavering commitment to fight terror in all its forms and hues, and extended comprehensive cooperation in identifying and decimating financial sources, which are the bases for sustenance of terror.
Describing terrorism as single biggest threat not only to international peace and security, but also to development, Reddy said countering terrorism and its financing require a strong collective action by the global community.
“A strong legal framework also needs to be established in order to address this problem…nations must urgently consider expediting finalisation of a Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism under the UN umbrella mooted by India as early as 1996,” he said.
Reddy said anti-money laundering and counter-financing of terrorism standards and procedures also needed to be effectively enforced and that there was a need to avoid politicisation of mechanisms like UN listings and FATF.
The ‘No Money For Terror’ conference is organised by Financial Intelligence Units (FIUs) of over 100 countries, jointly called The Egmont Group.
Recognising the importance of international cooperation in the fight against money laundering and financing of terrorism, a group of FIUs met a few years ago at the Egmont Arenberg Palace in Brussels, Belgium, and decided to establish an informal network of FIUs for the stimulation of international co-operation.
Money laundering and the financing of terrorism are serious crimes that threaten to destabilise the global economy.
The Egmont Group was created to provide FIUs around the world a forum to exchange information confidentially to combat money laundering, financing of terrorism and other predicate offences.
The ‘No Money For Terror’ conference was held less than a month after the international terror financing watchdog FATF put Pakistan on notice, warning the country that it will be blacklisted if it does not control terror funding by February next.
By making its decision on Pakistan public, the Paris-based FATF has given notice to the global financial institutions that they need to prepare to red flag the jurisdiction and ready their systems in February 2020 if the country falters in meeting the targets.
“It was again decided by consensus that FATF would retain Pakistan on the Grey List and warn Pakistan that if it did not complete its full Action Plan and show significant and sustainable progress action will be taken,” an official had said, adding that the FATF voiced serious concern over that country’s failure to deliver on most of its 27 targets.
Reddy would also be leading a terror-focused bilateral meeting with his Australian counterpart in Melbourne on Friday.
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