Rajya Sabha takes up bill to declare Pakistan ‘terror sponsor’
Rajya Sabha MP Rajeev Chandrasekhar on Friday moved a bill in the House to declare any country as state sponsor of terrorism and sever economic and trade relations with it, four months after 19 Indian soldiers were killed in the Uri terror strike.
The private member bill -- Declaration of Countries as Sponsor of Terrorism Bill, 2016 -- also seeks to impose legal and travel sanctions on citizens of such countries. It was discussed in the House.
Recounting last September’s Uri strike, Chandrasekhar said it was part of a long series of Pakistan originated terrorist attacks against India.
“That marked a turning point and I publicly promised that I would take on the important responsibility of calling Pakistan for what they are and have been for several years – a sponsor of terrorism.”
He said India and other countries in the region had been victims of numerous terror attacks for decades from organisations and individuals based in and with support of elements in Pakistan.
“And yet, for decades we have remained engaged with Pakistan in an attempt to draw it into the mainstream,” he said.
He said the bill would help mount pressure on Pakistan to mend its ways and stop being a terror sponsor.
“Pakistan has relied on this narrative of freedom fighters and jihadis since the time of its existence in 1947 and again in Kargil in 1999 and continues to do so year on year.”
Initiating the discussion, Congress MP Ananda Bhaskar Rapolu described the bill as “great and detailed.” He said the bill should be taken seriously and pursued by the government.