Dawood Ibrahim's group enjoying 'five-star hospitality': Jaishankar
India on Tuesday indirectly criticised Pakistan and China for failing to effectively counter-terrorism, saying the organisation of terrorist Dawood Ibrahim is being provided “five-star hospitality” while the listing of terror groups and individuals is being held up without proper reasons.
Addressing an open debate in the UN Security Council on global cooperation in combating terror two decades after the adoption of Resolution 1373 in the aftermath of the 9/11 terror attacks, external affairs minister S Jaishankar proposed an eight-point action plan, including holding accountable states that support terror.
Resolution 1373, he said, is a reminder that terrorism continues to be the “gravest threat to mankind”, and the resolution and the counter-terrorism committee are important pillars of the global architecture against terrorism.
Without naming either Pakistan or China, Jaishankar said some countries are “clearly guilty” of supporting terrorism and providing financial assistance and safe havens to terrorists, while others were placing blocks and holds on requests for sanctioning of groups and individuals by the UN Security Council “without any rhyme or reason”.
India has long accused Pakistan of harbouring and supporting terror groups such as Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) and Lashkar-e-Taiba which was behind the 2008 Mumbai attacks. JeM chief Masood Azhar was sanctioned by the Security Council in May 2019, almost a decade after a request for his listing, when China withdrew a “technical hold” on the matter.
“Some states lack the legal and operational frameworks and technical expertise needed to detect, investigate and prosecute terrorist financing cases. However, other states are clearly guilty of aiding and supporting terrorism and wilfully providing financial assistance and safe havens,” Jaishankar said.
“While we must enhance capacities of the former, the international community must collectively call out the latter and hold them accountable,” he added.
While proposing the eight-point action plan, Jaishankar called for reforms in the working methods of UN committees dealing with sanctions and counter-terrorism to ensure transparency, accountability and effectiveness. “The practice of placing blocks and holds on listing requests without any rhyme or reason must end. This only erodes our collective credibility,” he said.
He said the action plan should also recognise and address links between terror and transnational organised crime. In a reference to Dawood Ibrahim’s organisation, Jaishankar said, “We in India have seen the crime syndicate responsible for the 1993 Mumbai bomb blasts not just given state protection, but actually enjoying five-star hospitality.”
The action plan also included political will to unhesitatingly combat terrorism, removal of double standards and ending the distinction of good and bad terrorists, discouraging “exclusivist thinking” that divides the world and breeds mistrust and hatred among communities, and ensuring that listing and delisting of individuals and entities under the UN sanctions regime is done objectively and not for political or religious considerations.
The action plan further called for the effective combating of terror financing. Jaishankar said there should be enhanced cooperation between the UN and the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), which should continue to identify and remedy weaknesses in anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism.
He also recommended adequate funding for UN counter-terrorism bodies from the regular budget needs and said the forthcoming review of the UN Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy offers an opportunity to strengthen measures to combat terror and build the capacities of member states.
Jaishankar said the time had come for all nations to “walk the talk” and commit themselves to the goal of zero tolerance for terrorism at a time when terror groups and lone-wolf attackers had significantly enhanced their capabilities by gaining access to new technologies such as drones, encrypted communications and virtual currencies, and social media networks were contributing to radicalisation and recruitment.