National News

Centre withdraws Bill to declare countries, including Pakistan, ‘sponsors of terrorism’

Officials said the proposal made by BJP MP Rajeev Chandrasekhar violates provisions of the Geneva Convention.

The Centre on Friday withdrew a Bill that proposed to declare several countries including Pakistan to be “state sponsors of terrorism”. The move follows the introduction of a similar Bill in the United States Congress. Independent Rajya Sabha MP Rajeev Chandrasekhar (pictured above) had introduced the private member’s Bill.

Chandrasekhar’s Bill had proposed to suspend “economic and trade ties with such a country and to impose legal, economic and travel restrictions on its citizens”. He had said that the Uri attack should be considered a determining factor in passing the legislation.

However, Minister of State for Home Gangaram Ahir asked the member to withdraw the Bill, citing enough “provisions to deal with citizens of a terrorist country,” PTI reported. While withdrawing the Bill, Chandrashekar said the “status quo should not continue.”

Officials said the Bill was rejected on the basis that it would violate the provisions of the Geneva Convention, Times Now reported. The Bill received support from a few members of the House including Congress leader Abhishek Singhvi (who had suggested that it be made stronger) and Samajwadi Party member Javed Ali Khan. Khan recommended that Israel also be included in the list as a “state sponsor of terrorism”.

BJP MP Subramanian Swamy suggested that India should intervene in Pakistan like it had done in 1971. The military confrontation had led to the creation of Bangladesh. “The time has come to take a decision,” Swamy said.

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