Countries that back terror must be tackled: Army chief Bipin Rawat

Countries which support terrorism need to be “tackled” and terrorism is here to stay unless the world joins hands to end it, Army chief General Bipin Rawat said on Wednesday.

He also said that a country which is victim of terror has to fight on its own war.

Speaking at the Raisina Dialogue here, Gen Rawat stressed on cutting terrorism funding and raised concerns over nuclear, biological and chemical weapons falling into the hands of terrorists.

He advocated curbs on Internet to control terror propaganda.

The Army chief said terror cannot be accepted as a new form of war and urged the global community to tackle it head on.

Without naming Pakistan which India accuses of supporting terror groups in Jammu and Kashmir, he said: “Nation states that support terror to achieve their ends need to be tackled first.

“Terrorism is here to stay, unless the entire international community joins hands, comes together and fights this menace. Only then we can see peace… Terrorism cannot be a new form of warfare.

“This is what nations believe, this is going to be a new form of warfare. It has been seen that nations which spread terrorism invariably become victims of terrorist activities. If they want a safe home, it is better to stop this and let the global community work together.”

He, however, added that no country will fight a war for another.

“…You have to do your own job, no nation is coming to your help. International community support is required to support your action.

“A nation suffering from terrorist activity has to do its own job, take its own action and deal with the terrorists on its own,” he said.

Gen Rawat said that after identifying countries that support terror, the next step must be to address the source of funding.

“…where does the money come from. After all terror organisations have huge sums of money.”

Gen Rawat pointed out that drugs trade was a major source of such funding. He suggested that all weapon manufacturers should mark each weapon they sell.

“Whatever weapons are found with the terrorists, at least the origin of the weapon can be traced. As of now, very sophisticated weapons are landing in the hands of terrorists but it is difficult to find the source of that weapon,” Gen Rawat said.

“If that can happen, funding can stop, and source of weapon can be identified. I think that to an extent would put a check on the activities of the terrorists.”

According to him, the biggest threat was that terrorists may get hold of chemical, biological or nuclear weapons. This, he said, “can spell disaster for humanity”.

“While weapons is only one issue, the bigger issue is keeping a check on biological and chemical weapons. How do we keep a check on that? This can only happen if countries unite.”

Stating that all terror groups had a militant and a political front, the Army chief called for targeting both.

He said even when a militant outfit was curbed, its political front continued to unleash propaganda.

He also called for putting “some checks and curbs” on the “population, Internet and social media and social communication which the terrorist organisations resort to”.

“I do appreciate that in a democratic country people would not want this kind of restriction to be put on them. But I think we have to take a call whether we want a safe and secure environment or we are willing to accept some kinds of curbs at least temporarily so that the menace of terrorism can be dealt with in a holistic manner.”