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With eye on Pakistan, PM Modi talks tough on countering state-sponsored terror 

PM Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah at the third ‘No Money for Terror’ Ministerial Conference on Counter-Terrorism Financing, in New Delhi on Friday (Image courtesy: PIB)

Warning countries that use terrorism as a tool of foreign policy, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday asked international organisations to be vigilant about proxy wars.

“There must be a cost imposed upon countries that support terrorism. Organisations and individuals that try to create sympathy for terrorists must also be isolated,” said PM Modi in a veiled reference to Pakistan during a conference on Counter-Terrorism Financing in New Delhi.

“There can be no ifs and buts entertained in such matters. The world needs to unite against all kinds of overt and covert backing of terror,” he added while highlighting state support as one of the major sources of political, ideological and financial support to terrorism.

Around 450 delegates from across the world, including ministers, heads of multilateral organisations and Financial Action Task Force (FATF) heads of delegations, are taking part in the two-day conference.

Welcoming the gathering, PM Modi marked the significance of the conference taking place in India and recalled when the nation saw the dark face of terror long before the world took serious note of it.

“Over the decades, terrorism, in different names and forms, tried to hurt India… We consider that even a single attack is one too many. Even a single life lost is one too many. So, we will not rest till terrorism is uprooted,” he said.

He also warned against any ambiguity in tackling terrorism, touching upon the mistaken notions of terrorism and stating that all terrorist attacks deserve equal outrage and action.
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“There is no good terrorism and bad terrorism. It is an attack on humanity, freedom and civilisation. It knows no boundaries. Only a uniform, unified and zero-tolerance approach can defeat terrorism”.

PM Modi underlined that attack is the best form of defence and uprooting terrorism needs a larger, proactive, systemic response. He emphasised that we must pursue terrorists, break their support networks and hit their finances for citizens to remain safe.

Commenting on the changing dynamics of terrorism in light of advancing technology, PM spoke on new kinds of technology being used for terror financing and recruitment. As challenges from the dark net and private currencies emerge, he said that there is a need for a uniform understanding of new finance technologies.

Meanwhile, Home Minister Amit Shah, who chaired the first session of the 3rd ‘No Money for Terror’ Ministerial Conference on ‘Global Trends in Terrorist Financing and Terrorism’ theme, stated that transformation of terrorism from ‘dynamite to metaverse’ and ‘AK-47 to virtual assets’ is definitely a matter of concern for the countries of the world.

Shah mentioned that there are countries that seek to undermine, or even hinder, the collective resolve to fight terrorism by protecting and sheltering terrorists.

“After August, 2021 the situation in South Asian region has changed. The regime change and the growing influence of Al Qaeda & ISIS have emerged as a significant challenge to regional security. These new equations have made the problem of terror financing more serious,” he said.

“Three decades ago, the whole world has had to bear the serious consequences of one such regime change, the result of which we all have seen in the horrific attack of 9/11. In this background, last year changes in the South Asian region are a matter of concern for all of us. Along with Al Qaeda, organizations in South Asia like Lashkar-e-Taiba and Jaish-e-Mohammed continue to spread terror,” the Home Minister added.

Shah listed six pillars on which rests India’s strategy and recent success against the financing of terrorism.

The first, he said is strengthening the legislative and technological framework, followed by creation of a comprehensive monitoring framework; Actionable intelligence sharing mechanism and strengthening of the investigation and police operations;
Provision for confiscation of property; Prevent misuse of legal entities and new technologies, and, establishing international cooperation and coordination.

In addition, he said, India has strengthened the fight against terrorism and its financing, with the amendment of the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA), strengthening the National Investigation Agency (NIA), and giving a new direction to financial intelligence. He stated that it is the result of our continuous efforts that terrorist incidents in India have come down drastically, which in turn, has also resulted in a drastic reduction in the economic losses caused by terrorism.

Also Read: Amit Shah calls upon Interpol to counter online radicalization and cross-border terrorism