Right To Self-Defence, Pre-Emptive Strike To Prevent Terror Attack: India

United Nations:  India told a UN meeting that a country would be compelled to undertake a pre-emptive strike when confronted by an “imminent armed attack from a non-state actor operating in a third state, as it highlighted several proxy cross-border terror attacks, including one in Pulwama, perpetrated against it from its neighborhood – a clear reference to Pakistan.

India’s Deputy Permanent Representative to the UN Ambassador K Nagaraj Naidu said at an Arria Formula meeting organised by Mexico that non-state actors such as terrorist groups often attack states from remote locations within other host states, using the sovereignty of that host state as a smokescreen .

On this, a growing number of states believe that the use of force in self-defence against a non-state actor operating in the territory of another host state can be undertaken if the non-state actor has repeatedly undertaken armed attacks against the State; the host state is unwilling to address the threat posed by the non-state actor; the host state is actively supporting and sponsoring the attack by the non-state actor, he said.

In other words, a state would be compelled to undertake a pre-emptive strike when it is confronted by an imminent armed attack from a non-state actor operating in a third state,” he said on Wednesday.

“This state of affairs exonerates the affected state from the duty to respect, vis-a-vis the aggressor, the general obligation to refrain from the use of force, Mr Naidu said at the Arria Formula meeting.

The Arria Formula meetings are informal meetings of the Security Council, on Upholding the collective security system of the UN Charter: the use of force in international law, non-state actors and legitimate self-defence’.

He noted that Security Council resolutions 1368 (2001) and 1373 (2001) have formally endorsed the view that self-defence is available to avert terrorist attacks such as in the case of the 9/11 attacks.

On February 26, 2019, less than two weeks after 40 police personnel were killed in Pulwama in Jammu and Kashmir in a terror attack perpetrated by Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammed on February 14, India had conducted a pinpoint and swift airstrike in a pre-dawn operation, described as “non-military” and “preemptive”, against the terror group’s biggest training camp in Pakistan’s Balakot.

Then Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale had said at the time that credible intelligence was received that JeM was attempting another suicide terror attack in various parts of the country, and the fidayeen jihadis were being trained for this purpose. In the face of imminent danger, a preemptive strike became absolutely necessary.

Mr Naidu told the informal meeting that India has been subject to cross-border terrorist attacks perpetrated by non-state actors with the active complicity of another host state – a clear reference to Pakistan.

He stressed that exercising self-defence is a nation’s primary right when a situation demands immediate and proportionate action and applies also to attacks by non-state actors.

Some states are resorting to proxy war by supporting non-state actors such as terrorist groups to evade international censure. Such support to non-state actors has ranged from providing and equipping the terrorist groups with training, financing, intelligence and weapons to logistics and recruitment facilitation, he said.


Kartik Sud

I am working as a News Author With the DefenceXP network, Observing LOC and LAC

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