India has once again called on the international community to take verifiable actions against terror outfits operating in Pakistan and urged its neighbour to introspect about why it is universally acknowledged as the "international epicentre of terrorism" as well as the "best safe haven" for terrorists.
Addressing a closed session of UN Office of Counter-Terrorism (UNOCT) during a Virtual Counter-Terrorism Week on Tuesday, India's envoy Mahaveer Singhvi raised the issue that while India has proactively responded to mitigate the health and economic crisis caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, it still continues to face the scourge of state-sponsored cross border terrorism.
"The world is battling a virulent pandemic today. But as Pakistan's neighbour, we expect it to take seriously the fight against the even more destructive virus of terrorism. It must look inward and five up to its commitments and abandon its divisionary tactics," Singhvi said in a statement.
"Terrorists have made innumerable attempts to infiltrate into our country from their safe abodes across the border to carry out attacks and have even used unmanned aerial systems to smuggle weapons across our borders," he added.
Globally, Singhvi said, the world has observed malevolent attempts by terrorists to exploit the financial and emotional distress caused by the lockdowns to disturb the cohesiveness of societies. He added that the increased presence of people online and on social media has been targetted by terrorists to disseminate misinformation through hate speeches, fake news and doctored videos.
Terror groups have also exhorted supporters to target security forces and health workers. Another disturbing trend has been the collection of funds by proscribed terrorist outfits ostensibly for undertaking charitable activities, but which, in reality, would be used to finance terror, the envoy said.
"Genuine cooperation among member states, under the aegis of the United Nations, in implementing adequate measures to prevent and counter terrorism is more important now than ever before," he stressed.
Singhvi recalled the terror attack on the Indian Embassy in Kabul by a Pakistan supported terrorist group, 12 years ago on June 7.
"It is unfortunate that Pakistan, a state which sponsors cross border terrorism, continues to use every opportunity to peddle false narratives and make baseless, malicious and egregious allegations against India and interfere in its internal affairs," the envoy said.
Singhvi also noted Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan's ludicrous statement claiming credit for the elimination of Al Qaeda, saying it is indeed ironic, considering that Osama bin Laden, had been recently glorified as a "martyr" on the floor of Pakistan Parliament on June 25. "This is a chilling reminder of the patronage, that the international terrorists receive in Pakistan," he said.
While Pakistan conveniently blames others, Singhvi stated, it turns a blind eye to the human rights violations in Balochistan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and territories of Jammu and Kashmir illegally occupied by Pakistan.
"It has also systematically and consistently discriminated against its religious and cultural minorities. Reports on forced conversions, attacks on religious places of Ahmadiyyas, Christians, Hindus and Sikhs, Shias, Pashtuns, Sindhis, Hazaras and Balochis in Pakistan, are well known to the world community," he said.
"The least, Pakistan could do, therefore, is to look into its own sorry state of affairs and put its house in order before pointing finger at others and spewing venom against the democratically elected Indian government and its leaders," Singhvi added.