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Fight against terror not against any religion: India at UNSC

United Nations: India has told the UN Security Council that the fight against terrorism is not a “confrontation” against any religion and requires close global collaboration to combat what has emerged as one of the “most serious threats” to global peace and security on Thursday.

India’s Permanent Representative to the UN Syed Akbaruddin identified the ideological framework guiding the terrorist groups as their real strength as he lamented that “narrow perceived interests” pose hurdles in implementing sanctions that can help restrict possible terror threats.

“The fight against terrorism is not a confrontation against any religion. It is a struggle between the values of humanism and the forces of inhumanity. It is also a battle that must be won through the strength of our values and the real message of religions,” Akbaruddin said at the Security Council open debate on ‘Countering the Narratives and Ideologies of Terrorism’.

“Countering the narratives of terrorism is a long-term preventive endeavour,” he said as he described terrorism as one of the “most serious threats to global peace and security”.

He voiced concern that “narrow perceived interests have often prevented the framing of legal frameworks for international cooperation (to tackle terrorism) and even the effective implementation of sanctions that could restrict possible threats”.

“Equally important is effective counter-terrorism through monitoring and intervention that requires close international collaboration,” he said.

The Indian envoy emphasised that the ideological framework guiding the terrorist groups is their real strength and a concerted effort is needed to deny space for the spread of extremist ideologies and narratives and to launch specific counter-narratives.

“The counter-narratives have to address the theories of victimhood, conspiracy and the denial of inconvenient facts contained in the terrorist ideologies,” he said.

Akbaruddin underscored that active engagement of local community and religious leaders may be necessary in disseminating more moderate and mainstream teachings challenging the radical and motivated interpretations.

He said that terrorism thrives on and is sustained by its trans-boundary networks for ideology, recruitment, propaganda, funding, arms, training and sanctuary.

The envoy stressed that tackling terrorism demands extensive global coordination and effort and the fight against terrorism is not succeeding so far because there is insufficient international cooperation.

“The Hydra-like monster of terrorism continues to spread across continents in developing and developed countries alike, aided by the targeted propaganda of hatred over the ever growing social media networks that were designed to bring people together,” he added.