By South Asia Democratic Forum, Special for USDR
The Brussel’s based South Asia Democratic Forum (SADF) organized on March 10, 2017 a conference on the sidelines of the 34th session of the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva on the topic “Cross Border Terrorism in South Asia“. The panel of speakers included Jacob Perry, Member of Parliament, Israel; Fulvio Martusciello and Alberto Cirio, both Members of the European Parliament (MEP); Mehran Marri, Baluch Representative to the EU and UN; and Paulo Casaca, Executive Director, SADF. Tarek Fatah, Executive Director, Baluchistan House, moderated the event.
Paulo Casaca, while thanking all the participants for attending the seminar, informed the audience about recent research by SADF on cross border terrorism in South Asia. He stated that after field visits to areas affected by terrorism in India in 2016, SADF had gathered enough evidence on Pakistani state sponsorship of terrorism. He also stated that Pakistan’s policy of fomenting terrorism in order to promote its political agenda needed to stop.
In his speech, Fulvio Martusciello, MEP mentioned that Europe had now woken up to the threats of cross border terrorism originating from Pakistan and the Middle East, adding that the European Union member countries were realising that terror threats at home were not just a result of home grown terror but also from cross border terrorism. In this context, he gave instances in the last one year of Pakistani nationals who had been arrested in Europe, including in Italy, France and Spain, on charges ranging from spreading of radical Islamic ideology to planning terror attacks.
Alberto Cirio, MEP, spoke on how cross border terrorism originating largely from Pakistan had emerged as the biggest threat to the peace and prosperity of the South Asia region. He stated that support by successive Pakistani governments and the Army to fundamentalist Islamic groups had over the years taken the form of a multiple headed hydra that was now not only pushing the country to the medieval ages, but also threatening the security of the world.
Separately, Alberto Cirio assured the Baloch nationalists that he would continue to raise the issue of human rights violations in Balochistan in the European Parliament.
Mehran Baluch, in his speech, opined that Pakistan had a permanent policy of fomenting terrorism, which was used against its own citizens, if they protested against the government, or to target countries for strategic reasons. He was of the view that after the killing of the five UAE diplomats in Afghanistan, by a Pakistani intelligence agency linked- terror group, it was evident that Pakistan could not be trusted by any country.
Israeli MP Jacob Perry, while highlighting Israel’s long battle against the menace of cross border terrorism, endorsed the fact that terrorist groups based in Pakistan were expanding their area of attack, thereby threatening the security and stability of the entire South Asia region and beyond. He called for all responsible countries in South Asia and elsewhere to take a united stand to fight terror emanating from Pakistan. He added that the international community needed to send a strong message to those countries that supported terrorism, that they would have no place in the UN.
SOURCE South Asia Democratic Forum