New Delhi, Feb 22: A private member's Bill presented in the Upper House which seeks to declare Pakistan a country sponsoring terrorism, will be opposed by the government in Parliament.
“The Declaration of Countries as Sponsor of Terrorism Bill, 2016” that “seeks to call out states like Pakistan that continue to associate, promote, patronise and sponsor terrorism against our nation” was moved by Independent member Rajeev Chandrasekhar in Rajya Sabha. This Bill also provides for snapping all economic and trade relations with that country.
However, opposing the fundamental objective of the Bill, a Home Ministry official stated that, “India can’t declare any country a ‘Terror State’ as it has to maintain diplomatic relations with all countries.”
The Home Ministry has conveyed to the Rajya Sabha Secretariat about its opposition to the Bill, saying such a move may “jeopardise” international relations. The official also added that “in principle, it is very rare that a government support any Bill from the Private Member."
While moving the Bill on February 3, Chandrasekhar had stated that for decades, India and other countries in the region have been victims of terror attacks from organisations and individuals based in and with the support of elements in Pakistan.
“Yet for decades we have remained engaged with Pakistan in an attempt to draw it into the mainstream. This Bill is to finally put into motion the process of calling terror sponsors to account,” Chandrasekhar said.
Stating that “Pakistan’s history and track record of fostering terrorism and terrorists, is long and indeed distinguishable and incontrovertible,” he added, “It is time that we stop running to other countries to declare Pakistan a terror state and stood up and did this job ourselves.”
Asserting that the world is getting tired and has lost patience with “rogue nations”, he said as the global opinion consolidates around the conduct of some countries like Pakistan, the focus will naturally come on what India and the Indian Parliament's approach to that threat is.
While the current Bill focuses on Pakistan and a few other countries, according to Chandrasekhar, it can apply in the future to other countries as well that directly or indirectly aid terror attacks against India.
Although it is imperative to impede the ignominious actions of Pakistan, it is also crucial to maintain political neutrality on the global platform, and to maintain International diplomatic relations.
Rajeev Chandrasekhar currently serves as member of the Parliament Standing Committee on Defense, Consultative Committee on Defense, among other committees.