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India continues to bleed

Sentinel Digital DeskBy : Sentinel Digital Desk

  |  20 Nov 2015 12:00 AM GMT

When it comes to terrorism, India has consistently figured among the ten countries most affected in the last 14 years. The situation remains serious, as borne out by the Global Terrorism Index 2015. India ranked sixth out of 162 tions affected by terrorism last year. There were 763 incidents of terror-related violence in the country, and 416 lives were lost. The number of fatalities was 1.2 percent higher than 2013. The two deadliest terror groups in the country are Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) and Hizbul Mujahideen. In fact, the Pakistan-based LeT’s 26/11 Mumbai attack is becoming an oft-repeated tactic for terror attacks globally, the latest being the ISIS rampage in Paris. It seems but poetic justice that Pakistan, which has long allowed itself to be a launching pad for jihadists of all hues to strike at Afghanistan and India, now figures as the fourth most terror-affected tion. In the global context, terrorism is growing deadlier. There was a staggering 80 percent rise in deaths due to terror attacks in 2014 compared to the previous year. As many as 32,658 lives were lost, with just two terrorist groups Boko Haram and ISIS responsible for more than half (51 per cent) the fatalities. Russian President Vladimir Putin has shared intelligence data with G20 member states that dotions from private citizens and groups from as many as 40 tions, including some G20 members, are flowing to the ISIS. Illegal oil trade is adding hugely to the coffers of the extremely well-funded terrorist organisation. Prime Minister rendra Modi, addressing a gathering of investigators from 33 countries at a global conference in New Delhi recently, pointed out that a range of crimil activities like rcotics, bank robbery, vehicle thefts and fake notes as well as state-sponsored activities in failed states, have become the sources of terror fincing. To disrupt this complex fund flow, the intertiol community must come together to impose targeted economic sanctions on rogue tions and organised crime.

Earlier at the G20 summit, Modi renewed the call for a comprehensive intertiol anti-terror convention that India had proposed back in the Nineties. Questions have been raised about the need for such a convention when there are as many as 14 intertiol treaties dealing with terrorism. But such treaties deal with specific aspects of terrorism, like the one in 1997 against terrorist bombings, another in 1999 to tackle fincing of terrorism, and one in 2005 against nuclear terrorism. To deal with 21st century terrorism in all its myriad aspects, an umbrella convention is urgently needed. However, the intertiol community has failed to reach a consensus on what defines terrorism. This may seem strange, but then tions have their own interests which determines their standpoints on terror. The Organisation of Islamic Co-operation (OIC) countries want terror acts committed by tiol liberation movements to be excluded, surely with the Palestine and Kashmir questions in mind. The Western powers argue that acts committed by military forces of countries during peacetime cannot be classified under terror acts, while Latin American countries insist that ‘state terrorism’ must be included. A UN committee has been deliberating on this matter for nearly two decades, with no hopes of any convergence of views soon. At its last meeting in April 2013, speaker after speaker lambasted the duplicity of tions in condemning terrorism in their backyards but condoning and even supporting it elsewhere. Representatives of several countries demanded that ‘legitimate exercise of the right to self-determition’ must be distinguished from terrorist acts. Others wanted to broaden the scope of a comprehensive anti-terrorism convention by including festering intertiol disputes as well as political and economic injustices. It is therefore clear that the intertiol community has far to go before it unitedly takes a stand on something as basic as wantonly snuffing out a human being’s life. Meanwhile, vulnerable countries like India continue to bleed.

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