Pakistan's military has reared "good" terrorists for cross-border missions while battling "bad" militants that fail to toe its line, Vice President Hamid Ansari said today.
"A case in point is Pakistan's use of extremist groups as an instrument of foreign policy is well documented...," he said while addressing the third Counter Terrorism Conference organised by India Foundation.
Ansari said the availability of financial resources is critical to the success of these extremist groups as misplaced sense of charity, or religious duty, on the part of citizens contributes to it.
"These misinterpret religious texts to induce intolerance which, in turn, promotes a narrow and bigoted approach that is conducive to use of violence," he said.
Ansari said essentially, the Pakistani military has reared "good" terrorists for cross-border missions while battling "bad" militants that fail to toe its line.
He also said that the powers which created conditions for the rise of ISIS are the same which are claiming to be its victim.
"In recent times, the rise of ISIS or Daesh in Syria-Iraq has caught the attention of the world. Yet, even a cursory study of the factors that led to the rapid rise of such dangerous forces reveals that the very actors, who now claim to be threatened by it, have been responsible for creating the conditions--directly or indirectly--that led to its rise," he said.
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Ansari said the removal of existing regimes and subsequent breakdown of governance resulted in extremist groups capturing the political initiative by exploiting the resentment and anger of the local populations and carrying out terrorist acts with impunity.
"The repeated attempts at regime change by force and with utter disregard for the local ramifications and fall-outs, had led to the quagmire- whether it be in Syria-Iraq that led to ISIS; or, Afghanistan which led to Taliban/Al Qaida; or, Libya that led to Al-Jama'a," he said.
The so-called war on terror has bred its own brand of deprivation and suffering with hundreds of people being killed or injured, even if they were not related to terrorist activities, he said.
"This has led to anger and a desire to seek justice by any means, resulting in extremist action and terrorist violence," Ansari said.
In the aftermath of wars, the impacted communities are caught in a vicious circle of population pressures, resource stress, popular discontent and political instability making them susceptible to a pervasive extremist culture, he said.
"Weak or dysfunctional states are more likely to host terrorist groups that target not only their host states but also carry out transnational attacks," he said.
According to Ansari, the stated motivation of each terrorist group related to addressing grievance of political nature, very often embedded in and seeking empowerment from ethnic, nationalist, or religious sources.
He said cross-border terrorism promoted by regimes as 'war by other means' on their neighbours is the most abhorrent which India have had to suffer for a number of years.
"Such terrorism is sustained by external agencies and states. There is now wider recognition that this is the type of terrorism which creates conditions for growth of terrorist networks into massive conglomerates with international operations," he said.
The Vice President said neither pious denunciations nor generalised prescriptions are sufficient to combat terrorism in all its manifestations.
"A beginning has to be made in each case by understanding its operational philosophy, strategy and tactics, its targets and support systems," he said.
He said since unprovoked violence is inimical to human nature, groups and individuals resorting to terrorism or violent extremism seek to cloak their acts in motivations premised on value systems - secular, ethical or faith-based - that could be cited in justification.
"This notwithstanding, the political temptation to attribute it to individual creeds is often overwhelming and, for the same reason, must be resisted if strategies and tactics to counter terrorism are to be both credible and productive," he said.
Ansari said use of indiscriminate force and heavy handed action debases the protection of human rights and can lead to an institutionalisation of oppression- fostering a culture of impunity within state security forces and agencies.
He said at the same time, countries being taken by a surprise terrorist attack face the problem of responding swiftly without causing economic and societal disruptions.
"We need a flexible frame-work of security that respects the diversity of security perspectives and developmental choices of member states and is based on a clear renunciation by all parties of the threat or use of force against any other state, aimed at promotion of connectivity in accordance with international law to promote and protect the well-being of all peoples who inhabit the Indian Ocean region," he said.