NEW DELHI: Taking on Pakistan, India today said the concept of state actors and non-state actors on the issue of terrorism is a “false dichotomy” and a state cannot escape responsibility by hiding behind it.
India also said that acting against some terror groups is not a justification for giving a free pass, leave alone active support, to other groups. Without mincing words, Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar tore into Pakistan’s narrative that terror attacks against India are done by non-state actors and said the state cannot escape responsibility.
Speaking at a conference organised by US-based East West Centre, the Foreign Secretary reminded everyone that this was the case after 9/11 attack when countries were told that they cannot escape responsibility by saying that non-state actors were involved.
“There is a connect between state actors and non-state actors which is why we use the word ‘sponsored’. So, the state cannot escape responsibility by saying it is non-state. This is not just vis-a-vis India. It was the situation even after 9/11,” Jaishankar said.
He underlined that the concept of state and non-state actors is a “false dichotomy”. “We have always maintained the view that acting against some groups is not a justification for giving a free pass, leave alone active support, to other groups. So, you can’t have a segmented, differentiated fight against terrorism,” he said.
He was responding to questions about US, while supporting India’s stand on terrorism, also saying that Pakistan was fighting against terrorism by taking action against various groups.
Jaishankar said the world has a better sense of the nesting ground of terrorism in the region, where terrorism is being bred and nurtured. His remarks came as India upped the ante on the issue of “terror export” from the neighbouring country, with Prime Minister Narendra Modi raising it at BRICS meet and East Asia Summit, where he called on the international community to isolate and sanction “this” instigator.
Modi urged other BRICS members to intensify joint efforts to combat terrorism and sought “coordinated actions” by the grouping to “isolate supporters and sponsors of terror”.
“There’s one country in our neighbourhood whose competitive advantage rests solely in producing and exporting terrorism,” he later said in his address at the East Asia Summit, without naming Pakistan.