The credibility of the United Nations’ sanctions regime is at an all-time low, said India on Tuesday, pointing out that the secretary general’s report has shown “double standards” against terrorism.

The statement was made by India’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations Ruchira Kamboj at a security council meeting that discussed “threats to international peace and security caused by terrorist acts”.

“Double standards and continuing politicisation have rendered the credibility of the Sanctions Regime at an all-time low,” the envoy said. “We do hope that all members of the United Nations Security Council can pronounce together in one voice, sooner rather than later, when it comes to this collective fight against international terrorism.”

Kamboj made the statement after the United Nations Secretary General presented a report stating that terrorist threats are on the rise globally.

In an indirect reference to Pakistan and China, she said that the report “chose not to take notice of the activities of the several proscribed groups repeatedly targeting India”.

“Selective filtering of inputs from member states is uncalled for,” she added. “We do hope that in future iterations of SG’s reports, inputs from all member states would be treated on an equal footing.”

According to The Hindu, the report, in its section on terrorism threats in Central and South Asia, referred only to the Islamic State-Khorasan Province and not to allied outfits that target India. This was reportedly despite New Delhi having provided information to the United Nations on these groups.

“The recent findings of the 1988 Sanctions Committee’s Monitoring Team’s Report points to a significant increase in the presence of ISIL-K in Afghanistan and their capacity to carry out attacks,” the envoy said.

Kamboj said that the Islamic State-Khorasan Province reportedly has its base in Afghanistan and continues to issue threats of terror attacks on other countries. “The linkages between groups listed by the UNSC such as the Lashkar-e-Tayyaba and the Jaish-e-Mohammed as well as provocative statements made by other terrorist groups operating out of Afghanistan pose a direct threat to the peace and stability of the region.”

She stressed on the need to take steps so that terrorist outfits “do not get any support, tacit or direct, from the terror sanctuaries, which also are based in the same region”.

She also said that there needs to be a political will to defeat terrorism in the world.

“There can be no justification for terrorist acts, much less glorification of terrorists, a tendency we have unfortunately seen in recent years in some parts of the world,” Kamboj said. “There should be no double standards in dealing with terrorists. We should refrain from labeling terrorism based on motivations, which will only allow opportunistic forces to provide justification for certain terror activities based on their convenience.”

‘Sanctions committees need to be transparent,’ says Kamboj

Kamboj said that the Sanctions committees need to be more transparent, accountable and objective.

This is not the first time that India has criticised the Sanctions committees. In June 2019, India had questioned the functioning of the committee, which took over 10 years to designate Jaish-e-Mohammed chief Masood Azhar as a global terrorist. The terror outfit had claimed responsibility for the Pulwama attack in Jammu and Kashmir in February 2019 in which 40 security personnel were killed.

Azhar’s designation as a global terrorist became possible after China lifted its veto, but it had repeatedly blocked attempts by the United Nations Security Council to blacklist Azhar in the past.

“In India, we have had first-hand experience of crime syndicates venturing into terrorism and, immediately thereafter getting state hospitality in a neighbouring country despite being listed under the UNSC 1267 Sanctions Committee,” Kamboj said on Tuesday. “Such hypocrisy needs to be collectively called out, when the threat of terrorism looms large in each of our countries.”

This appeared to be an indirect reference to Dawood Ibrahim, who India alleges is hiding in Pakistan. On March 12, 1993, 12 blasts took place in Mumbai in which at least 257 people were killed and over 700 injured. Ibrahim has been accused of masterminding the blasts.

“It is most regrettable that genuine and evidence-based listing proposals pertaining to some of the most notorious terrorists in the world are being placed on hold,” Kamboj added.

China is a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council. It had prevented the council’s Islamic State and Al Qaeda Sanctions Committee from sanctioning Azhar in 2016 and 2017.

On Tuesday, Kamboj urged the international community to stand united in addressing the threat of terrorism to humanity with zero tolerance.

“India has suffered from the menace of terrorism for decades and has learned to counter this threat with resolve and firm determination,” she said.