Jaipur: Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Thursday said that the world is witnessing an entirely new paradigm of terrorism in the form of Islamic State (IS) but added that the terror outfit has no influence among the Indian youth.
Delivering the inaugural address at the International Counter-Terrorism Conference here, the Home Minister said the appeal of ISIS to young and educated people, inspite of the group's medieval ideology, is a cause of concern for the global community.
Terror outfits like the ISIS do not believe in a plural society and are extremely intolerant of a liberal and secular democratic order, noted Singh.
The minister further said that such terror groups do not accept the fundamental fact that diversity of faiths and philosophies reflects the inherent beauty of human beings.
“These terrorists unleash the worst forms of violence to erase the diversity and destabilise the democratic order...These terrorists are adept at using the latest technologies to propagate their beliefs and deeds,” underlined Singh.
Expressing concern over how terrorists are extensively using modern technology to reach out to wider audiences with susceptible minds, the Home Minister said he was happy to note that the influence of Islamic State on the Indian youth is negligible.
“Just a handful of Indian youth have joined the ISIS. Some have also returned after being persuaded by their families,” asserted the Home Minister.
He added that the ISIS failed to attract Indian Muslims because of the community's complete integration into the national mainstream.
Describing Indian Muslims as patriots, Singh said they are not swayed by fundamentalist ideologies and extremism is alien to their nature. “Moreover, India as a country is proud of all its diversity,” announced Singh.
India has the second largest population of Muslims in the world.
"India is home to all 73 firqas of Muslims and it houses one of the oldest church known to mankind in the world. We have been practising philosophy of peaceful coexistence for centuries," he said.
He, however, cautioned about the increasing possibility and opportunity to use available technology and cyberspace in a destructive manner.
Underlining that the menace of terrorism is greatly amplified in digital world, the minister noted that today a ‘lone wolf’ or a ‘DIY (Do It Yourself) Terrorist’ can go online and learn how to carry out an attack without ever leaving home.
“We have recently constituted an expert committee to look into all possible avenues of cyber crime and its linkages with the terrorist world,” informed Singh.
Speaking on cross-border terrorism, Rajnath Singh said India has been a victim for the last several decades.
"Terrorist organisations like Lashkar-e-Taiba and Jaish-e-Mohammad patronised by those across the border, have inflicted several acts of terror on the Indian soil. There are several instances of such proxies being used in other parts of the world," he said.
Invoking Pakistan, Singh said that India's neighbour should seriously rethink its strategy of using terrorism as an ‘instrument of proxy war’ as it would be in her own national interest.
"Differentiating terrorists into good and bad categories has failed miserably. If the ISI and the Pakistan Army stops their support to certain terror outfits, I have no hesitation in saying that the security situation in South Asia will improve significantly," he said at the conference.
“Terrorism knows no boundaries and doesn't respect nations' sovereignties. They have become trans-national in character,” further noted Singh.
He also insisted on international co-operation to build popular opinion and pressurise the countries that use terrorists as their strategic assets.
“All countries should be aware of developments in this area, which is bound to affect them in some way, sooner or later,” concluded the Home Minister.
During the three-day conference, beginning today, issues like 'illegal migration and border security', 'cyber space', 'social media and terrorism', 'terror trade: weapons, narcotics and fake currency' would also be discussed in separate sessions.
Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar, National Security Advisor Ajit Doval, former home secretary GK Pillai, former Army chief Gen (retd) VP Malik, former chief of BSF Prakash Singh and other dignitaries will also attend the conference.
Former chief of Sri Lankan Army Sarath Fonseka, Admiral Jamers Loy, Senior Counsellor, Cohen Group, USA, John M Nomikos, Director of Research Institute for European and American Studies, Greece, Rahimullah Yusufzai, resident editor of The News, Pakistan are some of the international participants in the conference.
India Foundation and Sardar Patel University of Police Security and Criminal Justice have organised the conference.