FIGHTING TERRORISM UNDEFINED…?

Editorial GREATER JAMMU

As the ‘Anti-Terrorism Day’ was observed on May 21, once again it is a reminder to all the stakeholders across the globe that the most unfortunate part of the legal fight against terrorism is that till date there is no substantive or enumerative definition of terrorism under International Law. It is pertinent to mention here that India despite being involved in fight against terrorism for the last over three decades, has quite a few Promulgations as well as Legislations concerning terrorism and it would not be wrong to state that it has also failed to come up with any comprehensive definition of terrorism. This justifies the need for the urgency to come up with the most comprehensive and meaningful definition of terrorism both under International as well as Municipal Legal Systems, for which PM Narendra Modi has been consistently raising the issue at every international forum including the United Nations urging for coining a definition of this giant menace that has engulfed or effected almost every part of the globe. The expansionist endeavours of the ISIS and the conglomerates of the like provide every reason to come up with a comprehensive definition of Terrorism if the world wants to see this menace wiped off the globe once for all. Terrorism as it exists across the globe today, in its literal sense absolutely wipes out the possibility of any positive effect and instead it has multiple devastating effects, which if left uncontrolled shall definitely lead to the extinction of mankind. One of the worst effects of terrorism is the displacement of populations the world over as is being seen presently with the brunt of migration from the affected areas to European nations so much so that even these European nations have now stopped the entry of migrants or displaced people in view of massive magnitude of the fleeing populace. India being amongst the initial victims of terrorism has also been facing this problem during the past over thirty years. It is really an irony that India is witness to population displacement within the nation with a miniscule community subjected to forcible exodus from the Kashmir Valley to other parts of the state as well as the nation. Besides, there are displaced populations from Pakistan as well as PoK in the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir who are facing the brunt of terrorism being operated from across the border by our own neighbour. Displaced populations in various parts of the world including India who fulfil all the essential ingredients of the definition of ‘Internally Displaced Persons’ have been denied such status due to various political compulsions both at International and National levels. One of the groups in this regard is the miniscule Kashmiri Pandit community that is currently in forced exile from its original home Kashmir. Such displaced populations are deprived of the help available under Humanitarian Law not only due to international laxity in defining terrorism but also due to internal compulsions of the respective nations to allow a community within its own domain as displaced population due to far implied implications at the international level as to the credibility of governance in such nations. Here it is pertinent to mention specifically that India being a responsible member of the International Community decided to be a non-signatory to the concerning protocol due to the fear of its misuse by certain nations against India’s Integration. The Indian fears are quite genuine because certain powerful nations at the helm of affairs in the international arena have a record of maintaining double standards that use such declarations to pursue and fulfil their hidden agenda. In view of such apprehensions or suspicions in today’s International Order there is a clear indication of this metamorphosis resulting into an entirely new International Order of tomorrow. As such it becomes imperative to define terrorism both substantively as well as enumeratively under International as well as Municipal Laws. At the same time, it is necessary to do away with the hurdles and impediments in rendering help to ‘Internally Displaced Persons’ who despite fulfilling the essential ingredients of the definition can’t benefit from international initiatives unless declared to be the ‘Internally Displaced Persons’ by their own nation. If the International as well as National regimes fail to do away with these impediments, then all the efforts to curb terrorism would be obsolete and meaningless as there could be possibility of such ‘Displaced Populations’ getting used by the terror regimes to further their barbaric and inhuman agenda. It is high time that the world body pays serious attention to the issue and after coining the definition of terrorism moves ahead strategically to wipe out this menace from the globe.