Asia Can Play Pivotal Role in Combating Terrorism: Manohar Parrikar

March 06, 2017

New Delhi: Commenting on Asia’s pivotal role in combating terrorism, Raksha Mantri, Shri Manohar Parrikar today said that a strong regional push from Asia will exert more pressure on the rest of the world to adopt a cohesive framework to fight terrorism.

The Minister was delivering the inaugural address at the 19th edition of the Asian Security Conference on ‘Combating Terrorism: Evolving an Asian Response’, at the Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses (IDSA), on March 6, 2017.

Describing terrorism as a ‘transnational threat’, the minister said that the response to this threat is generally local and uncoordinated, largely due to conflicting definitions of terrorism and geopolitical constraints, which have stymied a global response.

A successful combat against terrorism requires a holistic approach, noted Shri Parrikar. Tackling of terror finance and countering the misuse of the internet through social media by terrorist entities are important steps in this process, he added.

Also speaking in the occasion was His Excellency Mhd. Hanif Atmar, National Security Advisor, Afghanistan. Describing security and counter terrorism as the ‘most defining challenge of our times’, the NSA in his keynote address, called for the need for strong counter-terrorism strategy, with proposed actions at four levels – global, the Islamic world, regional and national.

Cautioning that such strategy would be a ‘generational challenge’, requiring long-term planning, the Afghan NSA insisted that its objective should be to end State sponsorship of terrorism by initiating coordinated political, strategic and military responses to destroy the flourishing sanctuaries for terrorist groups.

Terming international accountability as a prerequisite to counter terror, the NSA laid equal emphasis on the need for appropriate action at the national level through good governance, education, and infrastructure building.

Dispelling the perception of terrorism being associated with Islam as unethical and unhelpful, the NSA insisted that the Muslim nations have lost more lives to extremism and terrorism than other nations. The Muslim nations are natural allies in the war against terrorism, he added.

Insisting that the narrative of distinguishing between good and bad terrorists should be stopped, His Excellency Atmar pointed out that such distinction helps a perpetrator organisation disguise itself as a victim and morphing itself into a Frankenstein monster.

He further noted that Afghanistan is not confronted with a civil war, but a terrorist war, and an undeclared State to State war.

IDSA’s flagship event, the Asian Security Conference has emerged as an important platform for debating issues relating to Asian Security. For the last ten years, the ASC has been providing a forum for security analysts, practitioners and policy makers from around the world to share their views on the challenges facing the Asian continent.