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PRESS RELEASE

Ashraf Ghani Terms Terrorism as a Medium Term Challenge

September 14, 2016

New Delhi: In his reflection of the current global state of the ‘fifth wave’ of political violence, President of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, Mohammad Ashraf Ghani, today termed terrorism as a medium term challenge. He called for a fundamental change in the regional and global response it through improved information sharing and regional understanding, increased state level cooperation, greater public understanding of democratic processes through debates and discourses, and greater role of civil society and businesses.

President Ghani was delivering a lecture on ‘Fifth Wave of Political Violence and Global Terrorism’ at the Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses (IDSA) on September 14, 2016.

Describing the ‘fifth wave’ as probably one of the “most well-financed movements in history” he observed that “in the absence of rules of the game”, and due to the willingness of some states to sponsor non-state actors, the phenomena has evolved over the years with deepened and broadened techniques. The understanding of the current political violence has largely been reactive, due to which global actions have been sporadic and not sustained, he observed.

Elaborating on the revolution in networking as a striking feature of the fifth wave, the Afghan president observed that the terrorist networks that previously used to be face-to-face or in small groups have now become face-to-faceless, resulting in a distinct form of mobilisation.

Political violence is not owned by a specific culture, religion or geographic space, and requires careful analysis. Criminality and political violence have become organically related, he said, adding that there is a distinctive form of violence that is inflicted on the citizens and that results in erosion of state authority.

Insisting that the minority groups should not be allowed to hijack civilisations, the President pointed out that the terrorists target public spaces to disrupt the compact between the citizens and the state. The objective is to induce fear in a systematic manner which effectively breaks the bond of trust between citizens and state.

President Ghani also thanked Prime Minister Narendra Modi for his generous offer of $1 billion assistance for Afghanistan's development.

Director General, IDSA, Shri Jayant Prasad lauded President Ghani for his message of optimism and confidence that reflected the resilience, patience and perseverance of the Afghan people.