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Bill to declare countries as ‘sponsor of terrorism’ withdrawn

New Delhi: The government today disfavoured in the Rajya Sabha passing of any law to declare countries as ‘Sponsor of Terrorism’ after which a private member’s bill brought with Pakistan in mind was withdrawn.

The ‘Declaration of Countries as Sponsor of Terrorism Bill’, moved by Independent member Rajeev Chandrashekhar, got support from several members cutting across party lines but the government said there was no need for such a legislation.

The bill provided for declaring any country as State sponsor of terrorism and withdrawing of economic and trade relations with such a country. It also provided for creating legal, economic and travel sanctions for citizens of such a country and for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto.

After a debate, Minister of State for Home Gangaram Ahir said the government has taken many steps to deal with terror.

“The existing laws already have sufficient provisions for dealing with citizens of a terrorist country,” he said.

Mr Ahir asked Chandrasekhar to withdraw the bill which the Independent member did.

Earlier, participating in the debate on the bill, Congress member Ananda Bhaskar Rapolu raised the issue of recent killing of an IT engineer Srinivas Kuchibhotla in the USA and said “The bereaved wife asked ‘whether I belong to this land?’ It has awaken the whole world.”

Mr Rapolu also mentioned a Kashmiri girl Insha Mushtaq who was blinded by pellets fired by security forces and still attended the school.

Nominated member KTS Tulsi said, “I am not opposed to the bill but I have my doubts. We need to examine the practical utility of declaring Pakistan as terror state.”

Samajwadi Party member Javed Ali Khan said, “Though I support the Bill, it should also include Israel in the list as it is sponsoring terrorsim in the Middle East.”

Supporting the Bill, YSRCP member Vijay Sai Reddy said Pakistan has dual policy on terrorism – bad terrorist and good terrorist. Those who attack Pakistani establishments are bad terrorists and those who attack Indians are good terrorists.

Congress member Abhishek Singhvi suggested some changes in the bill, saying some actionable points should be included in it.

BJP member Subramanian Swamy suggested that India should again intervene in Pakistan like it had done earlier in East Pakistan which led to creation of Bangladesh. “Time has come for taking a decision,” he said.

Another BJP member Mahesh Poddar said, “We should call a spade a spade.”

His party colleague Swapan Dasgupta said everybody knows what Pakistan is. “The bill is wonderful but it offers nothing,” he added.

PTI