Pak. duplicity key hurdle in fight against terror: Sushma

Pakistan’s duplicity is a key obstacle in the global fight against terrorism and India is an immediate and continuing target of terrorism originating from there, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj told the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) on Saturday.

As a country affected by terrorism, long before the more powerful countries of the developed world began to take cognizance of the threat it poses to international peace and security, India has always condemned terrorism in all its forms and manifestations; stressed that tackling such behaviour required a holistic approach and collective action; and recommended that the scope of legal instruments must be expanded to bring the perpetrators of terrorism to justice.

India, therefore, has a vital stake in the formulation of counter-terrorism measures at the international level, including a Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism (CCIT). It is in this context that India had proposed a draft of a CCIT as far back as 1996.

The Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism is a proposed treaty which intends to criminalize all forms of international terrorism and deny terrorists, their financiers and supporters access to funds, arms, and safe havens. It is a draft proposed by India in 1996 that is yet to be adopted by the UNGA.

The universal definition of terrorism: no good terrorist or bad terrorist.

Ban on all groups regardless of country of operation, cut off access to funds and safe havens.

Prosecution of all groups including cross-border groups.

Amending domestic laws to make cross-border terror an extraditable offense.

It also addresses, among other things, the issue of Pakistan’s alleged support for cross-border terrorism in South Asia.

Concerns expressed by various countries:

US + allies: concerns over the definition of terrorism, including acts by US soldiers in international interventions without UN mandate.

Latin American countries: concerns over international humanitarian laws being ignored.

There are also concerns that convention will be used to target Pakistan and restrict the rights of self-determination groups in Palestine, Kashmir etc.

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