Jaipur: India on Wednesday blamed Pakistan for most of the terror attacks in the country but said it would stand by the neighbour if it takes action against terrorists operating from there.
Home Minister Rajnath Singh also said if Pakistan takes concrete action against terrorists on its territory it will not only improve bilateral relations but also bring peace and stability in the South Asian region.
“Most of the terror attacks in India emanate from Pakistan and it will have to show some sincerity and take concrete steps to rein in the various terror groups operating against India from its soil.
“The government of India will stand by Pakistan if it takes decisive action against terrorists and their organisations,” he said addressing the second edition of counter-terrorism conference organised by the India Foundation in collaboration with the government of Rajasthan.
The Home Minister said for India, Mumbai (26/11) and Pathankot terror attacks have signified a “tectonic shift”.
The Mumbai terror attack in 2008 brought terror across the seas to country’s economic capital, causing a large number of casualties among the innocent civilian population.
“Likewise, in the recent attack on Pathankot air base, there was a conscious effort to target sensitive assets of the country and also cause large-scale casualties, thus taking the dynamics of terror attack in India a notch higher,” he said.
Mr Singh said the challenge of terrorism gets compounded when certain states use it as an instrument of their foreign policy.
“They make perverse distinction between ‘good’ and ‘bad’ terrorists. When the states begin covertly raising and indoctrinating bands of youth and equipping them with lethal weapons and weapon systems of mass destruction to promote their geo-political agenda, the magnitude of threat amplifies many times. It makes the task of defeating terrorism much more difficult,” he said.
The Home Minister said so long as some countries continue using terrorists as instruments to promote their geo-political agenda, the fight against terrorism will lack due resolve.
“The world must accept the reality without any loss of time that there is no ‘good’ terrorist,” he said.
Meanwhile, Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar while addressing the conference said India was in touch with Pakistan after the Pathankot attack and dialogue between the two countries on the terror assault would continue.
“Since Pathankot attack happened, we have been in touch with Pakistan. We have been in touch at my level and the NSA level because only by remaining in touch, we can expect them to progress on the basis of information which we have provided to them,” Mr Jaishankar told the Counter Terrorism Conference.
Referring to the terror attack on Pathankot air base, the Home Minister said after the incident the government is reviewing its counter-terrorism strategy.
“We are now formulating an effective strategy which would help in protecting our country from such terror attacks in future.
“We are fully equipped and prepared to deal with cross-border terrorism or any kind of terrorism. We are working on a National Security Strategy aiming to achieve seamless coordination between all the agencies,” he said.
Mr Singh complimented the security forces and intelligence agencies for successfully preventing any major damage to the air force assets, with “minimum casualties”.
“Security forces also ensured that there were no casualties to families including trainees from friendly foreign countries. For such a brave act they deserve the highest accolades.
“I can say this with conviction as terror attacks in the past on air bases of other countries such as Pakistan and Sri Lanka had led to major damages to their air assets including large number of casualties,” he said.
The Home Minister said proper assimilation, analysis and timely sharing of intelligence inputs hold key to any successful strategy against terrorism.
“The government is increasing its capabilities in this area as well. We are also stepping up vigil at our international borders and strengthening our border infrastructure to ensure fool proof security in the border areas,” he said.
Mr Singh said terrorism is a “hydra-headed monster” fed by a massive supply of funds through different routes and there is a need to put a plug on the flow of funds to curb terrorism.
“Drug trafficking, hawala transactions and supply of counterfeit currency are some of the known sources of terror funding. It is a big challenge to cut the supply lines of terrorist organisations and their activities.
“There has to be a global strategy and better coordination among like-minded nations against terrorism, if we want to disrupt the supply of funds for terror activities,” he said.
The Home Minister said due to the ever increasing threat of terrorism in India, the country’s National Security Strategy is now aiming at creating an environment which provides full opportunity for unhindered growth and development to every section of the society.
“We are also looking forward to creating appropriate legal and structural frameworks to fight against the menace of terrorism. We want to ensure that all terror-related cases are thoroughly investigated and followed up properly and regularly in the courts.
“Our guiding principle while handling terror-related cases should be ‘Koi Begunaah Fanse Nahi, Aur Koi Gunahgaar Bache Nahi’ (No innocent should be punished and no guilty escapes,” he said.
Mr Singh said government solicits and appeals for full cooperation on issues pertaining to national security from opposition too because there is a need to rise above partisan politics on issues of national importance.
“Lack of consensus on matters like national security will adversely affect the country’s national interest,” he said.
The Home Minister said the country is full of diversity with multi-lingual, multi-religious and multi-ethnic society.
“These conditions are actively utilised by anti-national elements and other enemies to foment trouble in our country.
To counter such threats we need to undertake sound preventive and responsive security measures,” he said.
From traditional forms of terrorism, we are now witnessing cyber terrorism, narco terrorism and bio-terrorism.
Use of dirty bombs also cannot be ruled out. Modern weapons, technology, and communications are being used by terror groups to enhance their lethality and impact, he said.
“Terrorism is seeking to destabilise the geo-political order in several parts of the world. It is doing so in pursuit of an insane interpretation of faith and philosophy that is violently anarchic and allergic to diversity which is the essence of humanity and its habitat,” he said.
Mr Singh said he firmly believes that terrorism is a byproduct of a perverse mind and this perversion has no love for human beings or the humanity.
“Terrorism has no religion because religions do not allow crimes against humanity. Simply put, terrorism is a crime against humanity,” he said.
The Home Minister said even though the world acknowledges the threat of terrorism, there is no consensus even on the definition of terrorism.
“The UN has adopted numerous resolutions to fight terrorism. All these resolutions amply show the resolve of the world. Sanctions stipulated by UN Security Council resolutions are often rendered ineffective by vested interests of some countries in the absence of a consensus definition of terrorism,” he said.