In his first intervention at the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) since India assumed membership on January 1, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar, slammed Pakistan on Tuesday saying the crime syndicate responsible for the 1993 Mumbai bomb blasts was “not just given State protection but enjoying 5-star hospitality”.
He was was referring to fugitive terrorist Dawood Ibrahim, who — according to Delhi — lives in Pakistan. In August 2020, Pakistan had for the first time acknowledged the presence of Ibrahim on its soil after the government imposed sweeping sanctions on 88 banned terror groups and their leaders — which also included Ibrahim’s name.
“Linkages between terrorism and transnational organised crime must be fully recognised and addressed vigorously. We, in India, have seen the crime syndicate responsible for the 1993 Mumbai bomb blasts not just given State protection but enjoying 5-star hospitality,” he said, while speaking at a UNSC open debate on ‘International cooperation in combating terrorism 20 years after the adoption of resolution 1373’.
Jaishankar said the international community must not allow terrorism to be justified nor, terrorists glorified.
He proposed an eight-point Action Plan for the UN to credibly address the menace of terrorism. “Some states lack legal and operational framework and technical expertise to detect, investigate and prosecute terrorist financing cases. However, there are other states that are guilty of aiding and supporting terrorism and provide financial assistance and safe havens,” he said.
“We must summon the political will to combat terrorism. There must be no ‘ifs and buts’ in the fight… All members must fulfill the obligations enshrined in international counter-terrorism instruments,” he said.
Iterating that there is no space for “double standards”, he said: “Terrorists are terrorists; there are no good and bad ones. Those who propagate this distinction have an agenda and those who cover up for them are just as culpable.
“Enlisting and delisting individuals and entities under the UN sanctions regimes must be done objectively, not for political or religious considerations. Proposals in this regard merit due examination before circulation,” he said.
Jaishankar said the situation was worsened globally as people were more susceptible to “radicalised narratives” due to the uncertainty, distress and economic impact of the pandemic.
The minister also said that combating terrorist financing will only be as effective as the weakest jurisdiction. The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) should continue to identify and remedy weaknesses in anti-money laundering and counter-terror financing frameworks, he added.
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