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January 14, 2021

Pakistan calls for outlawing violent nationalist groups at UN

National

 
January 14, 2021

ISLAMABAD: In an action plan laid out before the United Nations Security Council (UNSC), Pakistan called for the proscribing of hyper-nationalist groups including Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) — the parent body of India’s hardline ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) — posing “a clear danger to regional and international peace and security”.

Addressing the 15-member Security Council on Tuesday, Islamabad’s permanent ambassador to the UN Munir Akram suggested to outlaw “violent extremist supremacist groups” like other terrorist outfits.

“Such violent racist and extremist terrorism will inevitably breed counter-violence and validate the dystopian narrative of terrorist organisations such as ISIS/Daesh and Al-Qaeda,” Munir Akram said.

Referring to Hindutva, the ideology of militant Hindu nationalism, followed by Indian prime minister Narendra Modi and his BJP, Akram warned the hardline ideology threatened India’s 200-million strong Muslim population.

Munir Akram further called for immediate steps to curb the rise of violent nationalism, proposing the following measures: calling on states to designate acts of violent nationalist groups, including white supremacists and other racially and ethnically motivated groups, as terrorism, just as the world has done in case of Al-Qaeda/ISIS and their affiliated groups.

He also suggested initiating immediate domestic actions to prevent the propagation of their violent ideologies, recruitment to and financing of these groups in addition to requesting the secretary general, António Guterres, to present a plan of action to confront and defeat nationalist groups’ extremist ideologies and actions.

The proposal also called for the expansion of the mandate of the 1267 Sanctions Committee to include nationalist terrorist groups like the RSS. Munir Akram also called upon the body to “address certain neglected manifestations of terrorism, one of which is the phenomenon of ‘state terrorism’”, citing the situation in occupied Kashmir where Indian forces “are perpetrating war crimes, crimes against humanity, and against the occupied peoples in order to terrorise them into submission”.

As new threats to global peace and security arise, Munir Akram said, the world needs to expand and adjust its counter-terror strategy to “defeat terrorism in all forms and manifestations”.

Separately, in a series of tweets, Munir Akram expressed concerns that these “violent nationalists’ groups are growing stronger & more popular attempting to mainstream right-wing ideologies”.

“In India,” he said, “such neo-fascist groups now rule the country” and noted that the “violent extremist Hindutva ideology poses an existential threat to the 180 (million) Indian Muslims (and) a danger to regional and (international) peace and security.”

“They must be outlawed by the Security Council like other terrorist groups,” Munir Akram said. This is not the first time Pakistan has highlighted the threat posed by nationalist groups, particularly the BJP and RSS. Prime Minister Imran Khan has repeatedly urged the world to take note of BJP’s “racist” ideology, which, according to the premier, is inspired by German Nazism.