Foreign minister S Jaishankar on Friday said the task of bringing the perpetrators of the 26/11 Mumbai attack remains unfinished as the main perpetrators of the ghastly terrorist attack continue to remain protected. The Security Council was unable to act when it comes to proscribing some terrorists because of political considerations, Jaishankar said at the informal briefing session on combating terrorism financing in the local and regional contexts. This was part of the UNSC special meeting of counter-terrorism committee at Mumbai’s Hotel Taj Mahal Palace – the centre of the 26/11 attack.
“While one of the terrorists was captured alive, prosecuted and convicted by the highest court in India, the key conspirators and planners of the 26/11 attacks continue to remain protected and unpunished,” Jaishankar said. “When it comes to proscribing some of these terrorists, the Security Council has regrettably been unable to act in some cases because of political considerations. This undermines our collective credibility and our collective interests,” Jaishankar said.
Talking about terror-financing, Jaishankar said one of the key aspects of combatting terrorism is to effectively curb the finance as money is the life-blood of terrorism. The reality that terrorism continues to exist and expant points to an underlying truth that terrorism is getting the required financial resources.
“14 years ago, Mumbai witnessed one of the most shocking terror attacks of our times. 140 Indian nationals and 26 citizens from 23 other countries lost their lives in a period of four days. In fact, the entire city was held hostage to terrorists who entered from across the border,” the foreign minister said.
The city of Mumbai was held hostage and the victims included ordinary Mumbaikars, going about their daily life, Jaishankar said in his speech. The attack was not just on Mumbai but on the international community, he said. Nationals of specific countries were identified before being murdered and as a result commitment of each and every member state of the United Nations to combat terrorism stood publicly challenged, Jaishankar said. “Since then, we have endeavoured to bring the masterminds and the perpetrators of this attack to justice. This task remains unfinished. Therefore, the coming together of the UNSC counter-terrorism committee to this venue is all special and significant,” the foreign minister said.
India has chosen the Taj Mahal Palace hotel for hosting the anti-terrorism meet which will see the participation of the foreign minister of Ghana, Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey; foreign minister of Gabon, Michael Moussa-Adamo; minister of state of UAE, Reem Bint Ebrahim Al Hashimy, UK’s Foreign Secretary, James Cleverly; Deputy Foreign Minister of Albania, Megi Fino and UN Deputy Secretary-General Vladimir Voronkov. This is also the first high-level visit from the UK after Rishi Sunak took charge as the prime minister.