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‘UN Failed To Stem Terrorism’

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India's Permanent Representative at UN Mr Syed Akbaruddin

Indian envoy at UN Mr Syed Akbaruddin says UN’s  failure to impose sanctions on terror leaders erodes the world forum’s authority….Arul Louis

India's Permanent Representative at UN Mr Syed Akbaruddin
India’s Permanent Representative at UN Mr Syed Akbaruddin

Failure to impose sanctions on leaders of terrorist organisations is eroding the UN’s authority, India has warned.

If the Security Council and its agencies did not come up with a “cohesive response to global terrorism they run the risk of becoming marginalised from the most fundamental security priorities of member states whose fabric is being torn asunder by terrorists,” India’s Permanent Representative Syed Akbaruddin said on Thursday during a General Assembly debate on Afghanistan.

He reiterated a demand India made in June for designating Taliban chief Mawlawi Haibatullah Akhundzada as a terrorist and making him face the penalties of UN sanctions.

“The international community is impatient for action,” Akbaruddin said.

“Earlier this week, President Ashraf Ghani of Afghanistan himself asked a delegation of the UNSC (Security Council) Sanctions Committee to include this person, and such others, in the list of terrorists,” he said.

The working of the Sanctions committee has been a sore point for India. China has used its veto to provide cover for Jaish-e-Mohammad’s Pakistan-based head, Masood Azhar, from sanctions.

India says he is the mastermind of the January terrorist attack on the Air Force base in Pathankot.

Afghanistan’s Permanent Representative Mahmoud Saikal also raised the problem of the Taliban and other terrorist organisations based in Pakistan.

Without directly naming it, he accused Pakistan of waging a “thinly disguised declared war” against his country by using the Taliban and other terrorist orgnisations, including the Haqqani network and the Islamic State.

He warned Islamabad, “Those who seek solace from the intention of keeping Afghanistan bleeding must remember that such actions would bleed them, too, and warrant international isolation.”

Sayeed Factor

Voices favouring action against terror groups are growing louder in Pakistan with ruling as well as opposition lawmakers asking the government to stop protecting terrorists like Hafiz Sayeed whose activities have plunged the country into diplomatic isolation.

Rana Muhammad Afzal, a ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) lawmaker, on Thursday questioned the government’s failure to act against Saeed, the founder of Lashkar-e-Taiba and the head of its frontal charity Jamaat-ud-Dawa.

“Which eggs is Hafiz Saeed laying for us that we are nurturing him,” Afzal said in a meeting of the Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, according to the BBC Urdu.

Afzal, a member of the parliamentary panel, questioned the efficacy of Pakistan’s foreign policy and said it had become such that “we have not been able to get rid of Hafiz Saeed so far”.

Sayeed, one the most wanted terrorists in India, has been blamed for masterminding terror attacks in Kashmir and other parts of India including the 2008 Mumbai carnage that killed 166 people.

The lawmaker said New Delhi had created such a worldwide impression about the terrorist leader “that during the meetings on Kashmir, foreign delegates mention Hafiz Saeed as the bone of contention between Pakistan and India”.

He said the country needed to be freed of such elements that have “led the world to start isolating us and trying to declare (Pakistan) a terrorist state”.

He recalled a trip to France where he had gone on a diplomatic mission to make Paris aware about alleged atrocities committed by Indian security forces in Jammu and Kashmir.

But Saeed was “brought up time and again” during his meetings in France, Afzal said.

He questioned whether Saeed was good or bad for the Kashmir cause and said that banned terror outfits, like the Lashkar and Jaish-e-Mohammed, were a source of embarrassment for Pakistan.

Opposition Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) leader Aitzaz Ahsan told a joint session of Parliament that the country was diplomatically isolated because it gives freedom to non-state actors.

“The government has been completely unsuccessful in imposing restrictions on non-state actors according to the National Action Plan (NPA),” the Dawn newspaper quoted Ahsan as saying.

He implied that such elements continued to hold protests and rallies and give speeches in places such as Islamabad, Lahore, Faisalabad and Karachi.

“I don’t want instability in any country, as the blame of that will then fall on us because of these non-state actors,” he said.

He said the failure to curb terrorists would isolate Pakistan. “Then Bangladesh and Afghanistan will not speak to you, and Bhutan and Nepal will begin supporting India.”

“You have isolated Pakistan,” he said, adding Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif was responsible for Pakistan’s diplomatic isolation as he was also the Foreign Minister.