Following Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s veiled yet strong criticism of Pakistan at East Asia Summit this week, Union Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar poked holes in the Pakistan’s narrative of terrorism. Calling the concept of state actors and non-state actors on the issue of terrorism a “false dichotomy”, he said a state cannot escape responsibility by hiding behind it.
Jaishankar also said that acting against some terror groups is not a justification for giving a free pass, leave alone active support, to other groups.
“There is a connect between state actors and non-state actors which is why we use the word ‘sponsored’. So, the state cannot escape responsibility by saying it is non-state. This is not just vis-a-vis India. It was the situation even after 9/11,” he said on Friday.
Speaking at a conference organised by US-based East West Centre, the Foreign Secretary said that one cannot “have a segmented, differentiated fight against terrorism”, adding the world has a better sense of the nesting ground of terrorism in the region, where terrorism is being bred and nurtured.
His remarks came as India upped the ante on the issue of terrorism with PM Modi flagging “terror export” from the “neighbouring” country. He raised the issue at BRICS meet, following at the East Asia Summit, where he called on the international community to isolate and sanction “this” instigator.
“There’s one country in our neighbourhood whose competitive advantage rests solely in producing and exporting terrorism,” he had said in his address at the East Asia Summit, without naming Pakistan.
Asked about China blocking India’s bid to put Pakistan-based terrorist Masood Azhar’s on UN Security Council blacklist of groups linked to al-Qaeda or Islamic State, Jaishankar said India has a view and is trying to persuade people with different viewpoint.
He also said that today there is a much sharper awareness of the fact that terrorism is no longer a national issue.
“That the idea that ‘oh, this is India’s problem, we are ok’… I think that era today is behind us. People know that terrorist organisations and individuals are very well connected, and what is India’s problem today has been somebody else’s problem too,” the Union Foreign Secretary said.
(With inputs from the PTI)