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Monday, Oct 14, 2019

In PM Narendra Modi’s address on terror, a veiled reference to China’s support for Pakistan

PM Modi’s comments came during his speech at the ‘Leaders’ Dialogue on Strategic Responses to Terrorist and Violent Extremist Narratives’ at the UN headquarters.

india Updated: Sep 24, 2019 17:42 IST
Yashwant Raj
Yashwant Raj
Hindustan Times, Washington
Prime Minister Narendra Modi highlights India’s bold initiatives towards universal health coverage at a UN high-level meeting on Monday.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi highlights India’s bold initiatives towards universal health coverage at a UN high-level meeting on Monday.(Twitter/MEA India)
         

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday called for ending the politicization of mechanisms for combating terrorism such as UN listing and FATF in a reference to recent actions by China and Pakistan and stressed the need to accord the same level of urgency to fighting terrorism as climate change.

The prime minister told a meeting of world leaders that terrorists should not be allowed to get funds and arms and, to that end, “we need to avoid the politicization if mechanisms like UN listings and FATF” which need to be enforced, according to senior Indian diplomat A Gitesh Sarma.

Counter-terrorism figured also in many of the bilateral meetings Modi External Affairs Minister Jaishankar held with their counterparts on Monday, officials said. Kashmir, and the situation in the region, also came up at some of these meetings in the context of counter-terrorism, but the focus remained on bilateral issues, maintained officials.

The prime minister did not name any country for politicizing UN listing and FATF, but the reference to China and Pakistan was clear to those who have dealt with these relations for decades.

 

China and Pakistan worked together to prevent the UNSC from listing the Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammad founder Masood Azhar a terrorist for years until earlier this year when they were steamrolled by the US, France and the UK, three of the five UN Security Council members, in the aftermath of the Pulwama attack in February carried out by Pakistan-based

Pakistan has also sought to tarnish the ongoing audit of Pakistan’s systems to check and prevent money laundering and terrorist funding by the Financial Action Task Force with the prospect of being blacklisted, a punitive measure that could impede its international borrowing capability, as impelled by lobbying by India. The Paris-based global watchdog, which is currently headed by China, is expected to decide on the listing in October based on an audit of Pakistan’s implementation of prescribed remedial measures.

The prime minister called for “global solidarity and readiness against terrorism in the same way as the world responded to challenges like climate change’, the official said.

And, in a warning to China and Pakistan, the prime minister said that terrorist strikes anywhere in the world must be condemned the same way without discriminating between “good and bad terrorism” or “between more or less”. According to people familiar with discussions surrounding the prime minister’s visit, the message to them was “it could happen to you”.

Pakistan came to that realisation after the shooting of more than 100 children at a school for children of army personnel in 2014. “China has the real problem here,” said one of those people, pointing to the internment of hundreds of thousands Muslim minority Chinese in the Xinjiang province.

The Indian prime minister also issued a call for “institutionalising counter-terrorism cooperation at a multi-lateral level”, the official said, adding, India was offering help, drawing from its experience dealing with terrorism, to help build capacity for “friendly” nations.

First Published: Sep 24, 2019 10:31 IST

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