File photo: PM Modi and Australian PM Scott Morrison.
File photo: PM Modi and Australian PM Scott Morrison.

India, Australia condemn use of ‘proxies for cross-border terrorism’

Both sides said they would coordinate efforts to fight terror in line with the comprehensive strategic partnership.
Hindustan Times, New Delhi | By HT Correspondent
UPDATED ON DEC 17, 2020 10:30 PM IST

In an indirect reference to terror emanating from Pakistan, India and Australia on Thursday condemned the use of “proxies for cross-border terrorism” and said all countries should take immediate and verifiable action to ensure their territory isn’t used for terror attacks.

The matter figured in a meeting of the India-Australia joint working group on counter-terrorism, which was held virtually, and both sides said they would coordinate efforts to fight terror in line with the comprehensive strategic partnership established during the virtual summit between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Australian PM Scott Morrison in June.

“India and Australia strongly condemned terrorism in all its forms and manifestations and emphasised the need for strengthening international cooperation to combat terrorism in a comprehensive and sustained manner. Both sides condemned the use of terrorist proxies for cross-border terrorism,” said a joint statement issued after the meeting.

They also “underlined the urgent need for all countries to take immediate, sustained, verifiable and irreversible action to ensure that no territory under their control is used for terrorist attacks and to expeditiously bring to justice the perpetrators of such attacks”.

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The joint statement said, “Australia reiterated its condemnation of terrorist attacks in India, including 26/11 Mumbai, Pathankot and Pulwama, and reiterated its support for the people and the government of India in the fight against terrorism”.

The two countries reviewed threats posed by UN-sanctioned terrorist entities and called for concerted action against all terror networks. They also exchanged views on the proscription of terrorist individuals and entities as a tool to combat terror.

They discussed various forms of cooperation in counter-terrorism, including countering radicalisation and violent extremism, combating terror financing, and preventing exploitation of the internet for terrorism.

Both sides decided to work closely to respond to challenges presented by the Covid-19 pandemic to combating terrorism, and also discussed ways to deepen engagement between their agencies to take forward interaction and information-sharing.

They also discussed counter-terror cooperation at multilateral forums, such as the UN, G20, Global Counterterrorism Forum, ASEAN Regional Forum and Financial Action Task Force, as well as in the Australia-India-Japan-US consultations.

Mahaveer Singhvi, joint secretary for counter-terrorism in India’s external affairs ministry, and Tony Sheehan, deputy secretary for international security in Australia’s department of foreign affairs, led the delegations of experts at the meeting.

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