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World needs UN convention on terrorism: Doval

National security adviser tells gathering of strategic experts greater convergence between states is needed to fight terrorism.

india Updated: Oct 21, 2014 23:45 IST
Saikat Datta
Saikat Datta
Hindustan Times
national security adviser Ajit Doval,national security,terrorism

In reiteration of a stand first taken by the AB Vajpayee government, national security adviser AK Doval on Tuesday called for a UN convention against terrorism.

Doval made the comments while addressing a gathering of strategic experts at the sixth edition of the Munich Security Conference organised jointly with the Observer Research Foundation in New Delhi.

"Let there be a comprehensive convention against terrorism under the United Nations, which has been pending since 2001, when India first proposed it," said Doval.

In 2001, India took up cudgels to arrive at a global convention on defining terrorism and finding commonly accepted means to combat it. The convention could not proceed after Pakistan raised issues about "causative factors", arguing that those who are "freedom fighters" are not labelled as terrorists.

"At that time a majority of the global powers felt that we should only look at tactics and methods used by such actors to define terrorism," said Doval.

"But UN resolution 1373 exists and why can't we have convergence without defining terrorism?"

The NSA pushed for greater convergence between states on their responsibility and coming together with a "collective response" to a global threat.

His suggestions gain ground from India's experience in trying to raise global concerns about terrorism for decades.

Having been at the forefront of many of those efforts to counter terrorism in his long career with the Intelligence Bureau, the NSA recalled how global powers reacted to India's concerns about Pakistan.

"Nearly 10 years ago no one looked at Pakistan but what happened in Abbottabad (when US Special Forces launched an operation to neutralise al Qaeda leader Osama Bin Laden) perspectives have changed. So we need shared perceptions on two broad areas."

According to Doval, global powers need to have greater convergence on security and response to threats.

"(There must be) greater commonalities between great democracies in a dynamic sense and we need a convergence and not a coalition."

Another subtle but marked departure that came through in the NSA's inaugural address was the need for more global participation on emerging threats.

"India was one of the few countries that spoke about an emerging threat from violent radical group."

With the ISIS emerging in Syria and Iraq, India's concerns expressed then has now come back to haunt global stability.

The NSA ruled out any territorial compromise in the on-going bilateral dialogue with China to resolve the pending border dispute.

"Our territorial integrity cannot be compromised but I find positive signals from China and we have to evolve and engage each other rather than work in isolation."

The NSA also highlighted how new responses are needed for greater cooperation on cyber security. Terming them as "border-less challenges" the NSA called for greater deliberation on international treaties and agreements.

"Laws of extradition, interrogation in cyber space are not clear."

A user in another country, he said, can cause great harm to another nation adding these issues need to be debated under an international multi-lateral framework.

First Published: Oct 21, 2014 14:36 IST