NEW DELHI: Union Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Friday highlighted the need to fight terrorism unitedly in the light of terrorists using new methods like “social media and crowdfunding” at the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) Defence Ministers meeting that began in New Delhi.
“We should unitedly fight terrorism. If SCO has to emerge stronger, we have to fight together. Terror groups are using new methods like social media and crowdfunding,” said Singh.
The Defence Minister further stated that India is fully committed to making SCO stronger, contributing to the implementation of SCO’s mandate.
“India is fully committed to making SCO stronger, contributing to the implementation of SCO’s mandate and facing our common challenges,” added Singh.
Notably, United Nations proscribed Pakistani terror group Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) has been seen openly collecting funds in Peshawar, according to several accounts.
“The open fundraising by the banned terrorist organization Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) in Peshawar, Pakistan, has raised concerns about the resurgence of extremist groups in the country. The group, responsible for several terrorist attacks,” tweeted Shaukat Ali Kashmiri, exiled leader & founder of the United Kashmir People’s National Party (UKPNP).
JeM remerged after Financial Action Task Force (FATF) relaxation last year. They are openly backed by Pakistan security personnel. Global terror-financing watchdog FATF in October 2022 announced Pakistan’s removal from its grey list, stating that the country has largely completed its action plans on anti-money laundering and financing of terrorism. Pakistan has been on the FATF grey list since June 2018.
Jaish Fund collection isn’t limited to Peshawar but is also visible in Pakistan’s Punjab, Pakistan-Occupied Kashmir and other areas.
The ease with which these groups can openly collect funds raises concerns about the government’s ability to crack down on terrorist activities.
“To ensure a secure, stable and prosperous region, we need to focus on our agenda. This will help in improving the quality of life of the people of each member country,” said Singh at SCO Defence Ministers’ Meeting.
It has been 14 years since Pakistan-sponsored terrorists struck Mumbai. The evidence of Pakistan’s links behind the bloodbath that went on for three days in Mumbai was there for all to see. However, Pakistan chose to ignore India’s requests to bring the perpetrators of the act to justice over the past 14 years.
Meanwhile, Pakistan attended the SCO Defence Ministers’ Meeting in virtual mode.
Malik Ahmad Khan, special assistant to the Prime Minister of Pakistan on Defence affairs addressed the SCO meeting virtually.
India as the Chair of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) in 2023 will host the SCO Defence Ministers’ Meeting on 28 April 2023 in New Delhi.
SCO is an intergovernmental organization established in 2001. The SCO membership includes Kazakhstan, China, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, Russia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan besides India.
Apart from the member states, two observer countries Belarus and Iran will also be participating in the SCO Defence Ministers Meeting.
India and Pakistan became permanent members in 2017.(Agencies)