NEW DELHI: In a counter-terrorism effort, India will hold a cyber dialogue here with 10 ASEAN countries for the first time. The perils of radicalisation through the cyber world came to light during the terror attack in the heart of Dhaka’s diplomatic enclave in July.
Terrorist groups such as the Islamic State (IS) have become sophisticated at creating dense, global networks of support online, which are helping these groups run virtual circles around governments and communities. This was highlighted during the Dhaka attack, for which Indian Islamic preacher Zakir Naik was accused of radicalising young Bangladeshis.
“We agreed to cooperate towards addressing security challenges, including in areas of de-radicalisation, prevention of violent extremism and cyber crimes,” a source said. The dialogue will take place late this year. Naik’s sermons promoting the fundamentalist strain of Islam are popular in Malaysia and Indonesia. India’s probe into Naik and his organisation’s role is being watched by these countries.
India has been seeking concerted efforts to counter terrorism at all international platforms. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, during the ASEAN summit in Laos, tried to impress upon the member-states the threat posed by terrorism. The countries acknowledged terrorism as a significant threat to peace and stability and have lent support to India’s efforts to have a universally accepted definition of terrorism at the United Nations.
“ASEAN and India support the early adoption of the Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism (CCIT), currently, under negotiation at the UN,” the source said. India has revived its two-decade old proposal of CCIT and will be pushing for its adoption at the UN General Assembly this month.
India has completed a draft taking into account objections of the three main opposition blocs—the US, the Organisation of Islamic Countries and Latin American countries. It will give terrorism a universal definition, will make it imperative for all 193-members of the UNGA to adopt it in their criminal laws and clamp down on terror groups.