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India and Terrorism


In India, terrorism poses one of the greatest dangers to the country's security. In 2018, India was the fifth most terrorism-affected state in the world. 'Killings, kidnappings, destruction of property, and disruption of regular civic order' are just some of the ways in which terrorism affects India's national security. India's national security has been threatened by a variety of terrorism threats, but state-sponsored terrorism remains the most severe threat to the country's security.

The growing threat of cross-border terrorism has prompted India to declare that "the growing inter-linkages between terrorist groups, cross-border operations including terror financing networks, propagating hatred ideologies through the exploitation of modern technologies, and funding arms and weapons have certainly left no country untouched by the impact of terrorism."

Counter-Terrorism Diplomacy in India at the United Nations

At the United Nations, India's counter-terrorism strategy is built on five pillars: normative, legal, coercive, compliance and domestic execution, and the promotion of international cooperation. The following are the specifics of these pillars:


De-legitimization is the process of discrediting a specific individual, group, organisation, or thing. It is defined as the "categorization of groups into extreme negative social categories that are excluded from roups that are considered to be acting within the limits of acceptable norms and/or values because these groups are viewed as violating basic human norms or values and thus deserving maltreatment."

The de-legitimizers intend to drastically reduce the popular support base for the targeted objects in society. De-legitimization finally leads to the formation of a new identity, which is always negative. Concerning the delegitimization of terrorism, India believes that it is a big worry for the world community. It is said to as the "most ubiquitous and serious threat" to current international peace and security. Terrorism is also viewed as a cause producing "the grossest violation of human rights" in internal matters, as well as the greatest impediment to the realisation of universal human rights

Measures of Coercion

Sanctions and the use of force are used in coercive counter-terrorism. The debate over the link between coercive counter-terrorism and state sovereignty sheds light on India's stance on coercive counter-terrorism. India considers states to be the primary actors in the battle against terrorism. It reacts reluctantly to any coercive measure that jeopardises state sovereignty.

Given its devotion to the sacrosanct perspective of sovereignty. Consistent with its general position on the use of force, India has stated that states not only have "every right to suppress terrorism or any other kind of lawlessness within their own State," but also "cannot exercise such a right outside it (border), and especially to the detriment of the rights of other States."

India has attempted to list and delist persons and entities in various terrorism sanction regimes as a supporter of the use of sanctions against non-state actors. Most recently, India has attempted to include Masood Azhar, the chairman of Jaish-e-Mohammed, a Pakistan-based terrorist organisation suspected of being involved in the Parliament and Pathankot attacks, in the Al-Qaeda and Taliban sanction regime.

Legal Measures

Through legal measures at the United Nations, India has played an essential role in combatting terrorism. India has not only sponsored and co-sponsored drafts resolutions and other initiatives, but has also actively engaged in and offered significant revisions to the various legal instruments presented to the United Nations for negotiation.

Compliance and Domestic Implementation

Member states are obligated to take effective counter-terrorism measures commensurate with UN measures under UN counter-terrorism resolutions, declarations, and agreements. India is one of the leading states in terms of zealously fulfilling its obligations. In response to the United Nations' appeal to become a signatory to counter-terrorist agreements, India has joined important legal instruments aimed at combating and suppressing international terrorism.

India has asked its law enforcement agencies, airport authorities, and central-level and state-level investigation agencies to place suspected terrorists and connected individuals, entities, and organisations on a watch list. The government has also requested that the Central Bank (Reserve Bank of India) issue suitable guidelines to nationalised and private banks, instructing them to monitor and take immediate action if any suspected 'financial asset is identified.'

Law enforcement agencies such as the Police, Customs and Income Tax, and the Enforcement Directorate have been given an updated list of offenders and property associated with them, and they have been asked to maintain strict adherence to the law and practises.

Promotion of International Cooperation

As a victim of cross-border terrorism and determined that a purely national response is futile, India has an overriding interest in stronger and more effective international collaboration to confront terrorism. As a result, it considers international collaboration to be the critical component in combatting international terrorism. India feels that the only effective approach to combat an international issue like terrorism is through true inter-state cooperation". The limited efficiency of state-centric counter-terrorism measures has persuaded India that terrorism can be fought by concerted international efforts and that the UN is best equipped for creating this transnational effort. As a result, at the United Nations, international collaboration has emerged as a cornerstone of India's counter-terrorism strategy.


It is clear that India views terrorism as a heinous crime, scourge, and threat that endangers not just individuals and governments but also the organising principles of the international order and the principles and purposes of the UN Charter. India believes that terrorism cannot and should not be viewed in terms of us versus them and that it must be combated through a policy that is split across international borders. It should instead be broadly defined as a "criminal and unjustified conduct".

To successfully combat the threat, the world community must adopt a global "zero tolerance" approach.

India’s prime minister made a short address before the United Nations General Assembly in which he said the following: "The largest number of supreme sacrifices made by soldiers of any country for UN peacekeeping missions is from India. We belong to a country that has given the world, not war, but Buddha’s message of peace. And that is the reason why, our voice against terrorism, to alert the world about this evil, rings with seriousness and the outrage. We believe, that this is one of the biggest challenges, not for any single country, but for the entire world and humanity. The lack of unanimity amongst us on the issue of terrorism, dents those very principles, that are the basis for the creation of the U.N. And that is why, for the sake of humanity, I firmly believe, that it is absolutely imperative, that the world unites against terrorism, and that the world stands as one against terrorism.”


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