Union Home Minister Amit Shah said on Friday that terrorism cannot and should not be linked to any religion, nationality, or group.

Shah made the statement while addressing the No Money for Terror ministerial conference on the theme “Global Trends in Terrorist Financing and Terrorism” in New Delhi. The two-day conference is being attended by about 450 delegates from across the world, including Ministers, Heads of Multilateral organisations and Financial Action Task Force Heads of Delegations.

“India has been a victim of terrorism for several decades, which is sponsored from across the border, Shah said in an indirect reference to Pakistan. “Indian security forces and civilians have had to deal with incidents of extremely serious terrorist violence perpetrated in a sustained and coordinated manner.”

The Bharatiya Janata Party leader also said that it is unfortunate how some countries seek to undermine, or even hinder, the international community’s collective resolve to fight terrorism.

“We have seen that some countries protect and shelter terrorists, protecting a terrorist is equivalent to promoting terrorism,” Shah said. “It will be our collective responsibility that such elements never succeed in their intentions.”

Shah’s comments came a month after the global anti-terrorism watchdog Financial Action Task Force removed Pakistan from its “grey list” on October 22 after four years. The grey list refers to countries that have been put under increased monitoring.

Shah said that after August 2021, the situation in South Asia has changed, in a reference to the Taliban taking control of Afghanistan

“The regime change and the growing influence of Al Qaeda and ISIS [Islamic State of Iraq and Syria], have emerged as a significant challenge to regional security,” he said. “These new equations have made the problem of terror financing more serious.”

The home minister said that the September 11, 2001 attacks in the United States took place after a similar regime change in Afghanistan three decades ago.