MoS MJ Akbar calls for standardising punitive measures against countries who use terrorists as first line of offence

Paris: India on Thursday called for standardising punitive measures against states who use terrorists as their first line of offense and use duplicity as a policy.

Speaking at a panel discussion at the conference on fight against terrorist financing for Daesh and Al-Qaeda, Minister of State for External Affairs MJ Akbar said terrorism was becoming the dominant feature of conflict in the 21st century.

"It is not simply the anarchists seeking chaos for the sake of chaos. It has serious political objectives. Terrorists, particularly those impelled by dated ideologies like faith supremacy, challenge the very concept of the nation state, and seek to replace it with faith-based space," he said.

 MoS MJ Akbar calls for standardising punitive measures against countries who use terrorists as first line of offence

File image of of MoS MJ Akbar. AFP

Akbar said terrorists do not believe in nations or national borders.

He said for more than two decades the UN had been unable to agree upon a definition of terrorism.

"How do we fight an enemy we cannot define?" he asked.

"Indeed there often seems to be more cooperation between terrorist gangs, their sponsors and affiliates than between nations facing this existentialist challenge," he said at the panel discussion on "Combating terrorist financing more effectively: what cooperation is needed?"

He said there was a need for cooperation on a counteroffensive against a lifeline of terrorism that is finance, he said.

"There are states who use terrorists as their first line of offense...We need, therefore, to standardise punitive measures against those who use duplicity as a policy," Akbar said.

"We must ensure, to begin with, that freezing of assets renders them unusable, effectively by prohibiting selling, removing, alienating, transforming, assigning, encumbering, taking over or similarly dealing with assets of a terrorist organisation, wherever situated. Financial Action Task Force (FATF) must completely shut loopholes that enable duplicity," he added.

FAFT is an international task force mandated to combat terror funding and money laundering.

Akbar said FATF had played a crucial role in devising international standards to combat terror financing.

"They must be mandatory. The UN Security Council, in its Resolution 1617, has already called upon the global community to implement the FATF standards. The World Bank, IMF and other international financial institutions should recognise and apply FATF standards. They must address concerns about countries not complying with terror financing standards.

Updated Date: Apr 27, 2018 08:52:08 IST