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Jaishankar slams Pakistan, says hub of 'terror export' projecting itself as 'victim of terrorism'

NEW DELHI: Describing terrorism as a “cancer” that afflicts humanity in the same way a pandemic does, foreign minister, S Jaishankar, slammed Pakistan on Friday saying states that have turned production of terrorists as "primary export" are also attempting to paint themselves as victims of terrorism."


But sustained action and international pressure can change the tide, he said. “As we have seen last week, sustained pressure through international mechanisms to prevent the movement of funds for terror groups and their front agencies can work. It has eventually compelled a state complicit in aiding, abetting, training and directing terror groups and associated criminal syndicates to grudgingly acknowledge the presence of wanted terrorists and organised crime leaders on its territory.” Under pressure from FATF , Pakistan was compelled to put sanctions on Dawood Ibrahim and Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi among others.


Jaishankar’s remarks show just how much Manmohan Singh’s Pakistan policy has been repudiated. In 2006, India implicitly conceded that Pakistan too was a “victim” of terrorism in a joint statement between Manmohan Singh and Pervez Musharraf in Havana, setting up a joint anti-terror mechanism. Since 2016, the Modi government has completely reversed any such assessment within the Indian system.


Terrorism, Jaishankar said, did not begin on 9/11 and COVID-19 is not the first pandemic. “And yet, in both cases, globalized focused responses to either challenge have tended to emerge only when there has been sufficient disruption created by a ‘spectacular’ event.” It took a “heinous attack using passenger aircraft as weapons of mass destruction to underscore the age of terror, it has similarly taken a lethally contagious virus to trigger a pandemic that has brought the world to its knees,” Jaishankar observed.


Making a pitch for “reformed multilateralism” which is a Modi government mantra, Jaishankar said it needed international organisations to change and reflect the current world rather than the world they were created in, so they could respond to today’s problems more effectively. In a subtle attack against the WHO, he said, “This time the international warning systems, reporting protocols and response mechanisms were unable to prevent the spread (of the COVID pandemic) beyond ground zero.”


Pushing for the adoption of the Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism as an important marker of the multilateralism, he said, “We need to modernize the international system, step by step, to make it fit for purpose, beginning by making each entity relevant to the age in which we live, not when it was created. This requires revisiting membership and structures of control, re-orienting operational principles and rules, and rebuilding the resourcing channels of the key pillars of multilateralism.”

Globalization too, needed to be redefined. “We have allowed it to be defined by the interests of a few, who visualize that process largely in financial, trade and travel terms. Real globalization can never be just an aggregate of transactions in these domains.


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