Pakistan asks UN to declare anti-Muslim outfits as terrorists

NEW YORK: Ahead of the biennial review of the UN’s Global Counter Terrorism Strategy (GCTS), Pakistan is set to introduce a series of proposals to upgrade the document so that it also focuses on the new and emerging terrorism threats from far-right terrorist and anti-Muslim supremacist groups in South Asia and Europe, according to informed sources.
The strategy, adopted by the UN General Assembly in 2006, calls for international cooperation to combat all forms of the terrorism, but its counter terrorism normative has remained limited to addressing the threats posed by Al-Qaeda, Da’esh and their affiliates. Instead, the Pakistani move, which obviously targets Hindutva ideology, seeks the condemnation of “all terrorist groups without distinction”. The UN reviews this strategy every two years and its next review in the coming weeks will be the seventh. Pakistan’s new proposals for the strategy’s review were negotiated in New York amongst the Organization of Islamic Cooperation members States that led to the adoption of an OIC paper.
Diplomats here called the proposals ‘significant and forward-looking’, saying Pakistan has OIC’s solid support to build on its initiatives. Spearheaded by Pakistan, the OIC paper also stressed the need for member states to take necessary measures, including enacting civil and administrative laws as well as criminal laws, to combat direct and indirect forms of religious and racial discrimination, incitement to violence, couched in xenophobia and anti-Muslim hatred propaganda. In this regard, the OIC called on the member states that while the current UN Security Council Counter Terrorism Sanctions regimes should be reviewed and overhauled to ensure that targeted sanctions against individuals and entities should meet the objectives of the sanctions regimes and are used effectively in line with human rights standards and due process of law, it also upholds the central role of the concerned member state whose individuals/entities are being designated and the state which affected by the listed individuals/entities.
As regards IoJK, the OIC adopted a number of proposals, calling on member states that the GCTS review resolution should strongly oppose any attempt to equate the legitimate struggle of peoples under colonial or alien domination and foreign occupation for self-determination guaranteed through UN resolutions with terrorism. On the current oppressive measures enacted by India in Kashmir, the OIC paper reminds member states that laws and measures in counter terrorism domain including mass incarcerations, communication blackouts, curfews to suppress freedom of speech and expression, especially if directed against a specific (or vulnerable) group, may adversely affect global efforts to combat terrorism.