New York : In an oblique criticism of US policies, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has said the world must stop distinguishing terrorists between good and bad terrorists.
“We should not look at terrorism from the nameplates, which group they belong to, what is their geographical location, who are the victims,” Modi said in an interview to Time magazine.
For representational purpose only
“These individual groups or names will keep changing. Today you are looking at the Taliban or ISIS; tomorrow you might be looking at another name,” said Modi.
Elaborating, the Indian leader, in his interview on the occasion of his completing a year in power in India after a stupendous election win, said it was important not to analyze or look at terrorism from a purely political perspective but also view it from the perspective of the way it attacks human values, as a force against humanity.
“If you view terrorism in Syria from one perspective and terrorism outside Syria from another perspective, it can create problems.
“If you view terrorism in categories such as good terrorism and bad terrorism, that too can create its own challenges. Similarly, if you view Taliban as good Taliban or bad Taliban, that creates its own problems.”
Modi went on: “We should not look at these questions individually. We should address this problem in one voice, not in segmented voices something which diffuses the international focus when it comes to the problem of terrorism. I believe that this can be easily done.”
The prime minister also said that the UN’s Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism should be approved.
“At least it will clearly establish whom you view as a terrorist and whom you don’t. We need to delink terrorism from religion to isolate terrorists who use this interchange of arguments between terrorism and religion.
“Several countries used to see terrorism as a law-and-order situation of individual countries. We should see it as something that is a fight for human values.”
He said what was needed was for countries that believe in human values to come together and fight terrorism.
“We should rather have a comprehensive look at the ideology of terrorism, see it as something that is a fight for human values, as terrorists are fighting against humanity.
Saying the names of terrorist groups will keep changing, he said: “Today you are looking at the Taliban or ISIS; tomorrow you might be looking at another name down the years.
“So it is important for the countries to go beyond the groups, beyond the individual names, beyond the geographical location they come from, beyond even looking at the victims of the terrorism, and fight terrorism as a unified force and as a collective.”
He said the UN Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism had been with the United Nations for the last several years.
“I think that could be the first step for us to take. At least it will clearly establish who you view as terrorist and who you do not view as terrorist. The definitional aspects of terrorism will get addressed.”
Modi also made it clear that terrorism must be de-linked from religion, adding he had made the request to US President Barack Obama both in September last year and in January this year,
“If we are able to achieve this and if we go down this path, it would at least put an end to the emotional blackmailing which is inherent in this particular concept.
“It would also help us additionally to isolate the terrorists completely who tend to use this interchange of arguments between terrorism and religion.”
Modi added: “Terrorism is a thought process. It is a thought process that is a great threat to the international community. I am also not linking it to any particular religion or to the actions of religious leaders.
“I think it is something that, as I mentioned, the countries that believe in human values need to come together and fight as a collective and not looking at individual groups from the perspective of individual religions.”