NEW DELHI: Prime Minister Narendra Modi has asked for avoiding any ambiguity in dealing with terrorism and also warned against nations that use terrorism as a tool of foreign policy (a veiled reference of China and Pakistan).
India, he said, will not rest till terrorism is uprooted. The world needs to unite against overt and covert terrorism. He said certain countries offer political, ideological and financial support to terrorism and there must be a cost imposed on such countries.
“Uprooting terrorism needs a larger, proactive, systemic response, if we want our citizens to be safe, we cannot wait until terror comes to our homes. We must pursue terrorists, break their support networks and hit their finances,” PM Modi said while addressing the third ‘No Money for Terror’ (NMFT) ministerial conference on counter-terrorism financing, in New Delhi recently.
The first NMFT conference was held in Paris in 2018 as an initiative of the French Government to focus specifically on cooperation between countries to choke terror funding. In 2019, the second conference was held in Australia. The third was to be held in India in 2020 but was postponed due to the Covid-19 pandemic and rescheduled to 2022.
The New Delhi conference offered a unique platform for participating nations and organisations to deliberate on the effectiveness of the current international regime on counter-terrorism financing and the steps required to address emerging challenges. Delegates from 72 countries and 15 international organisations participated in this year’s conference.
The main focus was on global trends in terrorism and terrorfinancing, use of formal and informal channels of funds for terrorism, emerging technologies, and international co-operation to address challenges in combating terrorism. At the four technical sessions, India urged the international community to take cognisance of threats emerging from regime change in Afghanistan, as the last one had led to 9/11 attacks. The regime changes and the growing influence of Al Qaeda & Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) have emerged as significant challenges to regional security.
A senior officer of MHA said, India stressed that the international community should never ignore terrorists’ safe havens or their resources. It is important to expose the double-speak of elements that sponsor and support them.
All participants, by and large, agreed on the threats emanating from emerging technologies, like Dark Net and Crypto Currency. Terrorists and terrorist groups understand the nuances of modern weapons and information technology very well. It, therefore, cannot be ignored. This transformation of terrorism from dynamite to meta-verse and AK-47 to virtual assets is definitely a matter of concern for the countries. Most of the delegates were of the view that the infrastructure used for cyberterrorism and online radicalisation is disturbing. So, each country can, and must, act against the part of the chain within their reach.
In the inaugural and concluding sessions, both PM Modi and Union Home Minister Amit Shah voiced India’s stand and the message they delivered was loud and clear.
Both said some countries support terrorism as part of their foreign policy; they offer political, ideological and financial support to them. There must be a cost imposed upon these countries. Organisations and individuals that try to create sympathy for terrorists must also be isolated, said the two leaders.
India also shed light on organised crime which, it said, should not be seen in isolation. Organised criminals often have deep links with terrorist outfits. The money made in gun-running, drugs and smuggling is pumped into terrorism.