The 14th anniversary of the Mumbai terror attack, in which 166 people were killed. As the nation pays tribute to those who lost their lives in the dastardly attack, justice eludes them and their families as the perpetrators of the orchestrated attack are still at large – protected under political shadow. As per the 2022 Global Terrorism Index report, the number of terror attacks increased by 17% to 5,226, with South Asia recording more than 1800 deaths in 2021 alone. The use of new and emerging technologies has further complicated the threat.
Increasing threat of abuse for terrorism purposes:
- The Internet and social media
- Terrorism financing
- Unmanned aerial systems.
Pakistan and state-sponsored terrorism
- Pakistan has been accused by neighbouring countries India, Afghanistan and Iran and other nations, such as the United States the United Kingdom, and France of involvement in terrorist activities in the region and beyond.
- Money is transferred to terror organization via Pakistan army.
- Pakistan’s tribal region along its border with Afghanistan has been described as a safe haven for terrorists by western media and the United States Defense Secretary. According to an analysis published, Pakistan was, “with the possible exception of Iran, perhaps the world’s most active sponsor of terrorist groups… aiding these groups that pose a direct threat to the United States.
- Pakistan’s active participation has caused thousands of deaths in the region; all these years Pakistan has been supportive to several terrorist groups despite several stern warnings from the international community
- The government of Pakistan has been accused of aiding terrorist organisations operating on their soil who have attacked neighbouring India.
- Pakistan denies all allegations, stating that these acts are committed by non-state actors
- Many organizations change names and set up other organization to frame that Pakistan is looking into it.
The importance of combating terrorist financing:
- Terrorists need money and other assets, for weapons but also training, travel and accommodation to plan and execute their attacks and develop as an organisation.
- Disrupting and preventing these terrorism-related financial flows and transactions is one of the most effective ways to fight terrorism.
- Not only can it prevent future attacks by disrupting their material support, the footprints of their purchases, withdrawals and other financial transactions can provide valuable information for ongoing investigations.
- Countering terrorism financing is therefore an essential part of the global fight against terror threat.
- As terrorists and terrorist groups continue to raise money with use of various means, countries must make it a priority to understand the risks they face from terrorist financing and develop policy responses to all aspects of it
How it helps India to deal with cross border terrorism:
- Recent proposal that Pakistan will put back in the list could affect Pakistan’s credit rating. This will adversely impact its ability to raise loans from major international financial institutions to service existing debt. So Pakistan will not have adequate resources to fund terrorism
- The decisions of the United Nations Financial Action Task Force (FATF)are about using the threat of economic punishment to move Pakistan away from funding terrorists operating against Afghanistan and India
- Being on the grey list would mean that Pakistan’s transactions are closely monitored. The International Monetary Fund and the World Bank too would avoid giving loans to Pakistan.
- India can now work with multilateral funder institutions to work out how Pakistan is channeling money to terrorism.
- India’s support and stand at international forums has been increasing as a continuous process in its fights against terrorism. It shall continue to take a stand firm to control the menace.
- The world community must address contradictions in the War on Terror. For 20 years, the world has failed to agree on a common definition of terrorism at the United Nations.
- Unless the world is truly united on the issue and resolves such contradictions, the global War on Terror will only be as strong as its weakest link.
- The success or failure of each of these approaches must be studied before deciding their applicability elsewhere.