Without naming Islamabad, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday said countries like Pakistan should be “penalised” for supporting and financing terrorism as part of their foreign policy.
In his inaugural address at the third ‘No Money for Terror’ (NMFT) conference in New Delhi, PM Modi called for penalising the countries that provide political, ideological, and financial support to terror groups.
He told the gathering that India faced the horrors of terrorism long before the world took serious note of it.
“Over the decades, terrorism in different names and forms tried to hurt India. We lost thousands of precious lives, but we have fought terrorism bravely. The delegates have a chance to interact with a country and people who have been firm in tackling terror,” PM Modi said.
Vowing to uproot terrorism, PM Modi said that the long-term impact of terrorism is particularly hard on the poor and on the local economy. “Be it tourism or trade, nobody likes an area that is constantly under threat. And due to this, the livelihoods of people are taken away. It is all the more important that we strike at the root of terror financing,” he stressed.
He further said: “However, 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.”
Stating that there are instances of indirect support to terrorism to block action against terrorists, the prime minister further said that terrorism is an attack on humanity, freedom and civilisation. “There is no place for an ambiguous approach while dealing with a global threat. It knows no boundaries. Only a uniform, unified and zero-tolerance approach can defeat terrorism.”
Speaking on sources of terror financing, he said: “One source is state support. Certain countries support terrorism as part of their foreign policy. They offer political, ideological and financial support to them.”
“International organisations must not think that the absence of war means peace. Proxy wars are also dangerous and violent. 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 in his address.
Modi said the tactical gains against terrorism will be lost without a larger strategy to stem its finances. “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.”
The prime minister also stressed that fighting terrorism needs global collaboration.