Key conspirators, planners of 26/11 terror attacks continue to remain protected and unpunished: Jaishankar
Mumbai: External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on Friday said the key conspirators and planners of the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks continue to remain protected and unpunished, and stressed that India understands the cost of terrorism more than others.
He said that when it comes to proscribing some terrorists, the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) has “regrettably” been unable to act in some cases because of “political considerations”, an apparent reference to China which has blocked the UNSC sanction of Pakistan-based terrorists on several occasions.
Since terrorist organisations require funds and resources to function and to undertake activities, curbing terror financing is a key aspect of tackling the menace, the minister said.
“Terrorism may have plagued several regions of the world, but India understands its cost more than others,” he said.
“But with that experience comes the steeling of national resolve. Decades of cross-border terror has not and will not weaken our commitment to fight back. We must rise above our political differences to address this scourge. The battle against terrorism must be fought resolutely at all fronts, all situations and all places,” he added.
The minister was delivering his inaugural session at a special meeting here on ‘Countering the Use of New and Emerging Technologies for Terrorist Purposes’. The first leg of the event is being held at the Taj Mahal Palace Hotel in south Mumbai. This hotel was one of the places attacked by the terrorists during the November 2008 attacks.
“The key conspirators and the planners of 26/11 terror attacks continue to remain protected and unpunished,” Jaishankar said during the wreath-laying ceremony to pay tributes to the victims of the 26/11 attacks at the Taj Mahal Palace Hotel.
This undermines the collective credibility and collective interest, he added.
Jaishankar said the “shocking” terror incident was an attack not just on Mumbai, but on the international community.
“In fact, this entire city was held hostage by terrorists, who had entered from across the border,” he said without naming Pakistan.
As many as 140 Indian nationals and 26 citizens from 23 countries lost their lives in the attacks, he said.
Jaishankar, Michael Moussa-Adamo, Gabonese Foreign Minister and president of the UNSC along with the members from international community paid tributes to the victims who lost their lives in the 26/11 terror attacks.
In his inaugural address, Jaishankar said all acts of terrorism are criminal and unjustifiable, regardless of their motivation.
He said money is the life blood of terrorism and a key aspect of combating terrorism is to effectively curb terror financing.
“Money is the life blood of terrorists. Terrorist organisations require funds and resources to maintain their organisational function and undertake activities,” he said.
He stressed the need for an effective and sustained efforts at countering terrorism. Normative efforts at the UN need to be coordinated through collaboration through other fora like the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) and the Egmont group.
“Objective and evidence-based proposals for listing of terrorists groups, especially those that curb their access to financial resources must be seen through,” he said.
He said international cooperation and concerted action against terrorists and their sponsors including through dismantlement of terrorist safe havens, sanctuaries, training grounds and financial, ideological as well as political support structures are critical imperatives to defeat this scourge.
Terrorism’s nexus with transnational organised crime, illicit drugs and arms trafficking is by now well established. It is important to recognise these linkages and strengthen multilateral efforts to break them, he said.
Over the years, terrorists groups have diversified their funding portfolio. They have also begun to exploit the anonymity of new and emerging such as virtual currencies for fund-raising and finances, he observed.