In an indirect attack aimed at China, India on Thursday told at the UNSC that countries should refrain from placing unwarranted “blocks and holds” on requests to designate terrorists, cautioning them that any double-dealing and making distinctions between terrorists might come back to haunt them in future.
“Throughout the world, it is a collective wisdom that terrorism in all its forms and manifestations must be condemned. There cannot be selective denouncement or justification for any act of terrorism, regardless of the motivation behind such acts,” EAM S Jaishankar said in the UNSC, allusively pointing towards China’s repeated attempts to shield Islamic terrorist Masood Azhar, who continues to live in Pakistan.
While chairing the UNSC Briefing on Threats to International Peace and Security Caused by Terrorist Acts held under India’s Presidency of the Council, Jaishankar referred to the remarks he had made to the Council in January this year when he had floated an eight-point action plan intended for completely eliminating the menace of terrorism.
“Summon the political will: don’t justify terrorism, don’t glorify terrorists; No double standards. Terrorists are terrorists; distinctions are made only at our own peril; Don’t place blocks and holds on listing requests without any reason,” he said.
The reference to China, a permanent member of the UNSC, was hard to miss, given that Beijing has steadfastly placed technical holds on attempts made by India and other nations to designate head of Pakistan=based terror outfit Jaish-e-Mohammed Masood Azhar.
After years of blocking attempts to enlist Masood Azhar in the list of global terrorists, China lifted its hold on a proposal to blacklist him under the Security Council’s Sanctions Committee in 2019 that eventually paved the way for the United Nations to designate Azhar as an international terrorist. This resulted in the imposition of the arms embargo, asset freeze and travel ban on the JeM head, 10 years after India first moved to have him blacklisted at the UN.
Jaishankar also made a case against eclusivist thinking, urging member nations to be vigilant about the use of new terminologies and false priorities. He added that enlisting and delistig should be done objectively, not on the basis of political or religious considerations.
The External Affairs Minister of India also stressed the need to recognise the interconnection between organised crime, support and strengthen the FATF, and provide more financial support to UN Office of Counter Terrorism.
“I urge to Council to unitedly build on these principles. It is also important therefore to end the stalemate preventing the adoption of a Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism, which India has championed for so long,” he said.
Jaishankar also said there cannot be exception or justification for any act of terrorism, regardless of the motives behind such acts. He further added that the world should acknowledge the menace of terrorism and not link it with any religion, nationality, civilisation or ethnic group.
But, he also highlighted the resilience of terrorists and their networks to keep devising new methods of motivating, resourcing and executing acts of terror despite progress made to tighten the legal, security, financing and other frameworks to fight terrorism.
“Regretably, there are some countries who are undermining and subverting our collective resolve to combat terrorism. This cannot be allowed to pass,” Jaishankar said, his reference to Pakistan’s role in abetting and sponsoring terrorism unmistakable.