Pakistan is the biggest perpetrator and supporter of terrorism and masquerades as its victim and should stop cleansing its own minorities including Hindus, Christians, Sikhs, and Buddhists, India has said in a strong response slamming Islamabad for again raking up the Kashmir issue at the United Nations.
Emphasising that the fight against terrorism has to be unrelenting and across all fronts, Counsellor/Legal Adviser at India's Permanent Mission to the UN Dr Kajal Bhat said that all member states must fulfil their obligations enshrined in international counter-terrorism instruments and conventions.
“…let me express my dismay that Pakistan has once again misused this august forum to repeat at adnauseam their litany of lies,” Bhat said at the General Assembly 6th committee (Legal) meeting on ‘Measures to eliminate international terrorism'.
“Here is the biggest perpetrator and supporter of terrorism masquerading as its victim. We condemn their Pavlovian response wherever the name of India is mentioned and reject all their allegations and insinuations," she said on Wednesday.
India's strong response came after Pakistan's UN envoy Munir Akram again raked up the issue of Kashmir at the Sixth Committee meeting and made baseless allegations against India in his remarks.
"Jammu and Kashmir is, and will always be a part of India," she said.
"We call on Pakistan to stop cleansing their own minorities including Hindus, Christians, Sikhs, Buddhists and others,” Bhat said.
While some states lack the legal-operational frameworks and necessary Combating of Financing of Terrorism (CFT) capacities, others are "clearly guilty of aiding and supporting terrorism by providing financial assistance and safe havens to terrorists," Bhat said, in a veiled reference to Pakistan.
"We must enhance capacities of the former, but must collectively call out the latter and hold them accountable,” she said.
Bhat said terrorism continues to persist globally, spreading into new areas, with terrorists having significantly enhanced their capabilities by gaining access to new and emerging technologies like drones, virtual currencies and encrypted communications for furthering their objectives and accomplishing their evil acts.
“COVID-19 pandemic has further aggravated the situation. Isolation due to lockdown, distress and economic uncertainty has made the world more susceptible to radicalizing narratives and violent extremist propaganda,” she said.
Asserting that terrorists at one place are a “threat" to the whole world, Bhat said fighting terrorism collectively requires “action from all of us, without any exception.”
She underscored India's condemnation of terrorism in all its forms and manifestations and firm belief that there cannot be any exception or justification for any act of terrorism, regardless of motivations behind such acts, and wherever, whenever and by whomsoever, they are committed.
“There cannot be bad terrorists or good terrorists based on their intensions or objectives.”
A member of the Financial Action Task Force, India is already in the process of upgrading its Financial Intelligence Network to ensure quicker referral of terror-financing cases to law enforcement agencies, she said.
India reiterated the need for early finalisation of the Draft Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism, saying the UN needs to do more in this direction.
“We believe that when right action is not taken at the right time, then it is time itself that causes the action to fail,” Bhat said, strongly calling on states to unite in efforts and end the stalemate preventing the adoption of the Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism.
“We all need CCIT as a law enforcement instrument that should strengthen the existing framework of global anti-terrorism conventions,” she said.
India expressed hope that the UNGA Resolution of December 2020 that recommends to Sixth Committee to establish the “Working Group” with a view to finalising the process on the draft comprehensive convention on international terrorism will “bring finality to the most important task in hand before the international community.”
Welcoming the adoption of the 7th review resolution of the Global Counter Terrorism Strategy by the General Assembly by consensus in June 2021, Bhat expressed hope that the member states will “walk the talk” and implement the strategy by taking effective measures.
India had contributed constructively to the GCTS negotiations, especially to strengthen the language on countering the financing of terrorism, prevention of misuse of emerging technologies, strengthen the rights of victims of terrorism, providing greater financial resources to the UN counter-terrorism architecture and obligations of member states to take effective measures to prevent terrorist activities.