Looking at terrorism in a new perspective

2 Min
Looking at terrorism in a new perspective

At the first meeting of the India-Central Asia heads of national security held last month, India put forward its concern about terror financing and curbing terrorism in Afghanistan to ensure regional security. The national security chiefs discussed the issue of the deteriorating humanitarian situation and emphasised the need to ensure sovereignty, unity and territorial integrity of Afghanistan and make sure that terrorist groups do not find a safe haven there.

India has high stakes in Afghanistan. Its development projects have suffered considerably because of the undesirable activities of terror groups. New Delhi has been keen to curb terrorism so that development initiatives for the betterment of the people of Afghanistan do not suffer. The India-Central Asia virtual summit has been part of these efforts. It may be recalled that last January, India had hosted a virtual summit of leaders from Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan to create a proper atmosphere for tackling critical issues of regional security. This was part of India’s extended neighbourhood concerns for a peaceful, stable and secure Afghanistan.

The global view on terrorism directly flows from what the Americans think to be right or wrong. Its attitude in this regard changed after the terrorist strikes in New York and Washington on 9/11. The US has now begun to say that no cause whatsoever could justify a terrorist method – not even the “liberation” of a country. However, American actions are generally motivated by its own national interests.

While American policy makers may have been helpful in countering the crisis in India-Pakistan relations, it may not be advisable to have blind faith in the US. President Jimmy Carter had once confessed that the US had been unfair to India over half a century. This is indeed a harsh fact of Indo-US ties.

Powerful nations are generally not prompted by moral considerations in the conduct of their foreign policy. It needs to be realised by the Western world that the subversive potential of terrorism is mind-boggling. It can silence generations by sheer reckless use of the gun power and destroy democratic institutions. It can also make people fear-stricken without the authorities realizing that behind the gun and distorted preaching of Islam, there is a dubious plan for cleansing the community of its traditional ethos and values.

We know well enough how badly India has suffered at the hands of Pakistan-funded and trained terrorists whose sole objective was grabbing Kashmir through terror tactics and in the name of Islam. However, Islam does not preach terrorism. It is a pity that the humanistic faith of Islam has been hijacked by perverted sections of the Ulema to serve their sectarian and political interests.

In order to tackle the problem of terrorism and its financing, a new bold approach needs to evolve. The emphasis ought to be on democracy, good governance, federalism, secularism and the protection of human rights. It is imperative to see old and new problems of terrorism in right perspective and apply the requisite correctives with a humane touch and in a democratic spirit.

-by Hari Jaisingh