India laments UN has been unable to define terrorism

Addressing the Foreign Ministers of G-20 countries in Bonn, Minister of State for External Affairs M J Akbar said it is naive to believe that terrorists have no political objectives.

By: PTI | New Delhi | Published: February 17, 2017 11:22:43 pm
india, united nations, UN, terrorism, define terrorism, G-20 nations, bonn meet, G20 leaders meet, world news, indian express news Bonn: Indian Foreign Minister MJ Akbar, left, is welcomed by German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel prior to a meeting of the group of 20 Foreign Ministers in Bonn, Germany, on Thursday. (Source: AP/PTI)

India on Friday lamented that the UN has been unable to define terrorism at a time when radical terror factories like Daesh and their surrogates like LeT are challenging the nation state and asked the national governments to make policies for sustaining peace. It also sought to differentiate the peace of a garden from that of a graveyard, saying terrorists invest in a graveyard and terrorism has the potential to destabilise societies with consequences that could cast a dark shadow over the 21st century if not confronted with unity.

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Addressing the Foreign Ministers of G-20 countries in Bonn, Minister of State for External Affairs M J Akbar said it is naive to believe that terrorists have no political objectives. “Radical terror factories like Daesh, Boko Haram and their allies or surrogates like Lashkar-e-Taiba are challenging the nation state, which is the principle building block of the architecture of stability after the collapse of the age of empires and colonisation,” he said.

Asserting that the UN was born as the answer to war, the minister said that responsibility has not diminished but to fight an enemy one must define an enemy. “The UN has been, alas, unable to define terrorism,” he said, noting that the UN peace keeping mission is often hampered by uncertain strategy and contradictory tactical response.

Akbar’s strong remarks come in the backdrop of the UN’s Sanctions Committee failing to proscribe JeM chief and Pathankot mastermind Masood Azhar as a terrorist in view of China’s strong opposition. In December last, China finally blocked India’s proposal to list Azhar as a designated terrorist by the UN, triggering a sharp reaction from New Delhi which termed it as “unfortunate blow” and a step that confirms prevalence of double standards in the fight against terrorism.

The UN mechanism, however, does not absolve national governments from taking policies for sustaining peace, he said at the Second Working Session on ‘Maintaining Peace in a Complex World’. “Peace has two dimensions. Do we want peace of a garden or the peace of a graveyard? Civilisation invests in the creative, productive, shared growth. Terrorists invest in a graveyard, dealing in death, fear and the ghosts of dead ideas like a Caliphate,” the minister said.

A parallel objective is to raise walls of suspicion and dread between communities in plural societies that seek harmony of freedom and equality, he said, adding “fear is the weapon, and there are visible consequence all around us”. He also noted that the German initiative to place ‘Maintaining Peace in a Complex World’ is of critical importance as prosperity, the primary objective of G20 is impossible without peace.

“It is important that we identify how to pre-empt conflict and raise the resilience of states and societies. There cannot be any justification for any use of terrorism in regional disputes. When you sup with the devil, you ingest and inject poison. There must be no space for a Vichy France in the world war,” Akbar added. Earlier, the minister also spoke at the first working session on sustainable development.

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