There is no denying the wake-up call to the Western powers that have, ironically, paid lip service to terrorism when it comes to protecting its own people….writes Rifan Ahmed Khan
The terror attack on February 14 on the CRPF convoy at Pulwama in Jammu and Kashmir has got the world community waking up at last to the ogre of terrorism.
Thanks to some deft diplomacy by India, the Big-5 at the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) have issued a stinging statement, naming the Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Muhammad (J-e-M) that has brazenly claimed credit for the attack that killed 44 personnel and injured many more. They have called it ’heinous and cowardly suicide bombing.”
This marks a significant shift by China that signed in, being one of the five Permanent Members. This is substantial, but not complete in that while it has agreed to condemn JeM, it ensured that its chief, Maulana Mohammed Masood Azhar, was not named. The “iron brother” thus continues to protect Pakistan.
But there is no denying the shift by China and some nervous action by Pakistan that amidst all the sabre-rattling with India, has re-introduced the ban on Jaish and its charity front, Falah-e-Insaniyat. The earlier ban imposed by the previous president and the erstwhile Nawaz Sharif Government, had been allowed to lapse. Well, this too is Pulwama effect.
There is no denying the wake-up call to the Western powers that have, ironically, paid lip service to terrorism when it comes to protecting its own people. Nine hundred British youths, many of them women, had fled homes to participate in the Islamic State (IS) campaign in Syria and Iraq. From the United States, too, hundreds of boys and girls were seduced by IS propaganda.
Now, at long last, when the IS is losing its territories, US and Britain are confronted with some of these girls who willingly behaved as “housewives” to IS militants, produced their children, and at least one Briton born of Bangladeshi parents, Shamima Begum, is heavily pregnant and desperate to get back home.
These are significant developments in that these women are not repentant and even now support all they did and condone brutal killings by the IS. The Western societies, or at least the governments, have had to shed their liberalism to prevent these girls from returning home. British Home Secretary Sajid Javid has stripped Begum of her British nationality. And President Donald Trump has made it clear that Hoda Muthana and Kimberley Gwen polman, the two American wives of IS militants are not welcome back.
It remains to be seen how the British and American citizenries will react to these measures, given their failure to detect these aberrations, mainly because diplomatically and militarily, their governments were involved in the Syrian conflict, yes, on the side of the IS.
To return to Pulwama, It is unlikely that Beijing will change completely by naming Azhar for UN-led sanctions. Some discussion is likely to take place when foreign ministers of India, Russia and China meet on February 27 at Wuzhen in China.