Sansad TV Perspective: UN and Global Terrorism

In the series Sansad TV Perspective, we bring you an analysis of the discussion featured on the insightful programme ‘Perspective’ on Sansad TV, on various important topics affecting India and also the world. This analysis will help you immensely for the IAS exam, especially the mains exam, where a well-rounded understanding of topics is a prerequisite for writing answers that fetch good marks.

In this article, we feature the discussion on the topic: UN and Global Terrorism.

Anchor: Vishal Dahiya

Guests:

  1. Lt. Gen. Vinod Bhatia (Retd.), Former Director General of Military Operations (DGMO), Indian Army
  2. Dr. Jagannath P. Panda, Head, SCSA-IPA, Institute for Security & Development Policy
  3. Suresh Goel, Former Ambassador

Context: At a recent meeting of the UN Security Council, India’s Permanent Representative to the UN Ambassador Ruchira Kamboj said that the practice of placing holds and blocks on listing requests without giving any justification must end.

Highlights of the discussion:

  • Introduction about terrorism.
  • Pakistan and its relation with terrorism.
  • Why there is a lack of cooperation and varying views regarding terrorism?
  • Challenges associated with terrorism.
  • Ways to deal with terrorism.

Introduction:

  • Terrorism is a major security challenge and a threat to the economic development of a nation. 
  • It also forms an important part of grave warfare and hybrid warfare.

 Spreading of terrorism:

  • Terrorism spreads in two ways:
    • When the private parties find it as a cost-effective tool for dealing with what is perceived to be the injustices done to them and their people by either individuals or the state.
    • The worst form of terrorism is when the terrorism is supported by the state for their own political objectives.
  • It is important to understand that many states covertly use terrorist activities for achieving their objectives.

Pakistan and its relation with terrorism:

  • Going by the history and track record of Pakistan, it has provided shelter to terrorist organizations over the years.
  • Pakistan is considered to be the epicentre of terrorism as it supports it directly or indirectly.
  • Pakistan harbours the world’s worst terrorists like Masood Azhar, Hafiz Saeed, and Dawood Ibrahim syndicates.
  • Pakistan itself is affected by internal terrorism.
  • Even after not meeting all the criteria of  FATF, Pakistan is retained in the ‘grey list’, owing to the support of China, Malaysia, and Turkey.
  • This is seen as a policy of proxy war.

Why there is a lack of cooperation and varying views regarding Terrorism:

  • Absence of a universal definition of terrorism: A terrorist for one nation may be a revered personality in the source nation.
  • Method of combating terrorism: Very closely linked with the definitional aspect, every country follows its own national laws to deal with the crimes committed under the ambit of terrorism.

Consensus regarding the universal definition of Terrorism:

  • Most countries have given up on defining terrorism, as no consensus can be built on it even after two decades of deliberations.
  • Countries across the world understand terrorism as using non-combatant force to create fear in the minds of the common civilians.

Challenges associated with Terrorism:

  • Rapidly advancing technology with internet penetration has brought new issues of deeper penetration of terrorist groups.
  • Terrorism is a challenge in all domains – diplomatic, military, informational, and financial.
  • One of the major areas of concern is the source of finance.
  • Terrorist groups of present times are more sophisticated as they conduct operations through a robust network equipped with world-class technologies.
  • Most countries look at acts of terrorism from the prism of national security.

Ways to deal with terrorism:

  • Internationally coordinated efforts are needed to deal with the issue of terrorism instead of focusing on defining them.
  • It is the need of the hour that the epicenters of terrorism are degraded to a manageable extent.
  • Coordinated efforts are needed between international agencies, and national as well as state agencies. Also, the public and private stakeholders can be made a part of combating network.
  • One major countermeasure is curbing the financial sources.
  • There is the need to deal with terror from the perspective of international peace and security.
  • There should be effective cooperation and a smooth exchange of information between the intelligence apparatus of various countries.
  • The veto power of the Permanent five of the United Nations should be re-worked so that sensitive issues are not bypassed in lieu of bilateral relations.
  • Terrorism is considered to be a low-cost high-effect war. Efforts should be made for the paradigm shift to high-cost and low-effect war.

Conclusion:

A multipronged strategy and synergized movement by the international community where everybody is involved in dealing with and tackling the issue are required to address the issue in a holistic manner.

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