Jaipur, February 03: India today 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. 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 Secr-etary 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,” 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.
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.
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.
“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. After alerting the country against ‘lone wolf attacks’, Rajnath underlined the threat posed by the ‘Do it Yourself’ breed of terrorists who gain information in bomb-making and suicide attacks over the internet to perpetrate terror acts.
“Exploiting the power of internet and ideological motivation, terror groups like DAESH and al Qaeda have already flooded the internet with literature pertaining to bomb making and suicide attacks which present a risk of emergence of ‘DIY’ (Do it Yourself) terrorists. “India also needs to be mindful of this possibility,” Singh said while addressing the second edition of counter-terrorism conference organised by the India Foundation in collaboration with Government of Rajasthan here.
He said the prowling illegal information and activities in the cyberspace was also acting as an “enabler” for ‘Lone Wolf attacks’ across the globe. A lone wolf terrorist is one who indulges in violence in support of some group, movement or ideology but works alone, outside of any command structure and without material assistance from any group.
He also urged the security establishment and those associated with it to use the word DAESH while identifying the acts and terrorists of the ISIS. “It is a cause of grave concern that the cyber world is being exploited by terror groups such as DAESH or ISIS to radicalise the gullible youth of our country. Since, many security experts and intellectuals are present here, I appeal to all of you to use the word DAESH to mention ISIS in future because this terror organisation is seeking legitimacy through the word ‘Islamic State’,” he said. DAESH is an acronym for the Arabic phrase al-Dawla al-Islamiya al-Iraq al-Sham (Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant) but the terror group shuns using this name to identify itself. The Home Minister said India has undertaken multiple steps and strategies to combat against the radicalisation of its youth by this terrorist ideology.
“We have adopted a multi-pronged strategy against the attempts to radicalise the youth of the country. On the one hand we have successfully de-radicalised our youth and on the other hand our security agencies have also taken action against certain individuals for their links and association with terror organisations. “The security experts believe that India’s strategy against radicalisation is far more positive and effective than other countries of the world,” he said.
He reiterated India’s commitment to the world to jointly tackle terrorism. “We are hopeful and firmly convinced that together we can neutralise any threat to our country. We also would like to assure various dignitaries and participants from friendly foreign countries that India stands firmly behind the international community in the fight against terrorism,” he said. It has been resolved in the past to take a calibrated policy jointly with Central and State Governments to deal with the threat of ISIS in the country.