New Delhi: Proxy wars are dangerous and violent and there must be cost imposed on countries that support terrorism, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Friday launching a blistering attack on Pakistan while addressing ‘No Money for Terror’ Ministerial Conference on Counter-Terrorism Financing here.
“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. 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 said.
“It is well known that terrorist organizations get money through several sources. One source is state support. Certain countries support terrorism as part of their foreign policy. They offer political, ideological and financial support to them,” the Prime Minister said adding that international organisations must not think that the absence of war means peace.
In a veiled attack on China as well for repeatedly blocking India’s bids to blacklist Pakistan based dreaded terrorists at the UN, the Prime Minister said that there is no place for ambiguous approach on the issue.
“Sometimes, there are indirect arguments made in support of terrorism to block action against terrorists. There is no place for an ambiguous approach while dealing with a global threat,” he stressed.
Modi said that terrorism is an attack on humanity, freedom and civilisation.
It knows no boundaries, only a uniform, unified and zero-tolerance approach can defeat terrorism, he added.
The Prime Minister also pointed out that ideally there should be no need for anyone to remind the world of the dangers of terrorism, however, he said, “There are still certain mistaken notions about terrorism in some circles. The intensity of the reaction to different attacks cannot vary based on where it happens. All terrorist attacks deserve equal outrage and action.”
The Prime Minister emphasised that uprooting terrorism needs a larger proactive response as tactical gains against terrorists may be lost in absence of a larger strategy.
“Fighting a terrorist and fighting terrorism are two different things. A terrorist may be neutralised with weapons. Immediate tactical responses to terrorists may be an operational matter. But tactical gains will soon be lost without a larger strategy aimed at hurting their finances,” he said.
“If we want our citizens to be safe, then we cannot wait until terror comes to our homes. We must pursue terrorists, break their support networks and hit their finances,” the Prime Minister added.
The Prime Minister also stressed on the need to take concerted action against major criminal networks as they have deep links with terror outfits.
“One of the sources of terror funding is organised crime. Organised crime should not be seen in isolation. These gangs often have deep links with terrorist outfits,” he said.
The money made in gun-running, drugs and smuggling is pumped into terrorism, the Prime Minister added.
He said that the criminal syndicates help with logistics and communication to terrorists, therefore, action against organised crime is extremely important in the fight against terror.
“At times, even activities like money laundering and financial crimes have been known to help terror funding. Fighting it needs global collaboration,” the Prime Minister added.
The Prime Minister said that there is a need for a uniform understanding of new finance technologies as “new kinds of technology are being used for terror financing and recruitment.”
The Prime Minister also spoke in favour of involving the private sector in such efforts.
Modi began the address by saying that India faced the horrors of terror long before the world took serious note of it. He said that the country has lost thousands of precious lives, but it has fought terrorism bravely.
“The delegates have a chance to interact with a country and people who have been firm in tackling terror. 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 added.
India is hosting the two day ‘No Money For Terror’ Ministerial Conference on Counter-Terrorism Financing with participation of over 75 countries.
It is being attended by about 450 delegates from across the world, including Ministers, Heads of Multilateral organisations and Financial Action Task Force (FATF) Heads of Delegations.
The Conference offers a unique platform for participating nations and organizations to deliberate on effectiveness of the current international regime on Counter Terrorism Financing as well as steps required to address emerging challenges.