Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Thursday asked Pakistan to “seriously rethink” its strategy of using terrorism as an instrument of proxy war, saying this will “significantly” improve the security situation in South Asia besides being in its own national interest.
Inaugurating an International Counter-Terrorism Conference, Singh said Pakistan should understand that there are no good or bad terrorists.
“It is unfortunate that even after paying such a heavy cost for itself, Pakistan and its associates find it difficult to understand that there are no good terrorists and bad terrorists,” he said, noting that the source of most terrorist activity in India lies across our borders.
Singh said Pakistan should “seriously rethink its strategy of using terrorism as an instrument of proxy war, since this would be in her own national interest.”
“Differentiating terrorists into good and bad categories has failed miserably. If the ISI and the Pakistan Army stops their support to certain terror outfits, I have no hesitation in saying that the security situation in South Asia will improve significantly,” he said.
“India has been a victim of cross-border terrorism for the last several decades. Terrorist organisations like Lashkar-e-Taiba and Jaish-e-Mohammad patronised by those across the border, have inflicted several acts of terror on the Indian soil. There are several instances of such proxies being used in other parts of the world,” he said.
Speaking about the changing face of terrorism in the present world, Singh expressed concern over the increasing possibility and opportunity to use available technology and cyberspace in a destructive manner.
Singh also said the menace of terrorism is greatly amplified in today’s digital world.
“A ‘lone wolf’ or a “DIY (Do It Yourself) terrorist can go online and learn how to carry out an attack without ever leaving home,” he said and added that an expert group had been recently constituted to look into all possible avenues of cybercrime and its linkages with the terrorist world.
He said the need for a committee was felt as many terror groups are adept at using the latest technology to propagate their beliefs and deeds. They extensively use modern technology to reach out to wider audience with susceptible minds.
“Their online propaganda is causing self-radicalisation among youths. It is a matter of serious concern that they are seeding the minds of innocents with poisonous provocation and inspiring them to be brutally intolerant and violent with others,” he said.
Singh also sought international cooperation in India’s fight to counter the menace of terrorism which knows no boundaries and doesn’t respect nations’ sovereignties.
The terrorists have become transnational in character and, therefore, international cooperation is needed to build popular opinion and pressurise the countries that use terrorists as their strategic assets, he added.
He called for global awareness on terrorism and said all countries should be aware of developments in this area, which is bound to affect them in some way, sooner than later.
The three-day Counter Terrorism Conference, 2015 will discuss issues like ‘illegal migration and border security’, ‘cyber space’, ‘social media and terrorism’, and ‘terror trade: weapons, narcotics and fake currency’ in separate sessions.
It is organised by India Foundation in association with Sardar Patel University of Police Security and Criminal Justice at Jaipur.
Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar, National Security Advisor Ajit Doval, former Home Secretary G K Pillai, former Army Chief Gen (retd) V P Malik, former chief of BSF Prakash Singh and other dignitaries are among the participants.