India, EU for ‘decisive’ action against Lashkar-e-Taiba, Jaish-e-Mohammed and Hafiz Saeed
India and the European Union on Friday agreed to strengthen cooperation for “decisive” action against globally proscribed terrorist individuals and groups, including Hafiz Saeed, Mumbai attacks mastermind Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi, Dawood Ibrahim, LeT, JeM, Islamic State and their affiliates.
The EU also joined India in condemning the terror attacks in Pathankot, Uri, Nagrota, Anantnag and Srinagar alongside assaults in Paris, Brussels, Nice, London, Manchester and Barcelona. The two sides also recalled the 2008 Mumbai attacks and called for the perpetrators to be brought to justice.
The call for stronger cooperation to target groups such as the Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Taiba and Jaish-e-Mohammed and jihadi leaders such as Hafiz Saeed and Dawood Ibrahim was seen in diplomatic circles as a win for New Delhi, which had lobbied the 28-member bloc on these issues.
The joint statement on cooperation in combating terrorism, issued at the end of the India-EU Summit in New Delhi, bracketed Pakistan-based groups such LeT, JeM, Haqqani Network and Hizbul Mujahideen along with the Islamic State and al-Qaeda.
“The leaders agreed to strengthen cooperation to take decisive and concerted actions against globally proscribed terrorists and terror entities, including Hafeez Saeed, Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi, Dawood Ibrahim, Lashkar-e-Tayibba, Jaish-e-Mohammad, Hizb-ul-Mujahideen, Haqqani Network, Al Qaeda, ISIS (Da’esh) and their affiliates,” the statement said.
The leaders of India and the EU “called for greater unity, stronger international partnership and concerted action by the international community in addressing” terrorism, the joint statement said. The two sides also reaffirmed their determination to jointly combat terrorism and violent extremism “irrespective of their motivations, wherever and by whomever they are committed”.
The 10th meeting of the India-EU Counter-Terrorism Dialogue was held in New Delhi on August 30, reflecting the growing partnership on security issues, including counter-terrorism.
Among the focus areas identified by the two sides are information-sharing, steps to counter online radicalisation, capacity-building activities and closer cooperation on domestic and international terrorist designation listing proposals.
The two sides also reiterated their commitment to increased cooperation to disrupt recruitment, terrorist activities and flow of foreign terrorist fighters and to stop sources of terrorist financing and dismantle terrorist infrastructure.
Both sides also said they would work together to drive international efforts at multilateral forums such as the Global Counter-Terrorism Forum and the Financial Action Task Force to cut the flow of funds and economic resources to individuals and entities involved in terrorism.
In recent months, India has effectively used the FATF forum to target Pakistan-based terrorists such as Hafiz Saeed. It was largely due to pressure from FATF that Islamabad was forced to place Saeed under house arrest in January.
The EU also backed the Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism proposed by India in the United Nations as “an instrument for a global alliance of nations against terrorism which would reinforce the message that no cause or grievance justifies terrorism”.
The two sides called for an early conclusion of negotiations and the adoption of the convention in view of the urgent need to establish a comprehensive international legal framework to address terrorism.