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The global war on terror is short on synergy

There is hardly a country that has not witnessed firsthand or suffered by extension the repercussions of terrorism, and, even then, the term terrorism has evaded all attempts of being captured succinctly in a lucid definition. Over 70 years after the United Nations was formed, the international organisation has failed to define Terrorism , as was pointed out by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2015. For good measure, he added that the duration and inability to define acts of terrorism is alarming as it represents an even bigger challenge to counter these acts in the absence of a consensus on the subject. The definition of Global Commons is typically applied to the common heritage of mankind which requires collective cooperation in the domains of international and supranational resources. Just like the high seas, outer space, the Antarctic, and cyberspace, terrorism has been an agenda of global discussion forums. A June 2016 Pew Research Centre report found that ISIS was perceived as the top threat in eight of the ten European countries that it had surveyed. It also concluded that terrorism had surpassed the threats of climate change and global economic instability. Ever since the 9/11 tragedy and the subsequent War on Terror declared by the then US President George W Bush, the war has intensified and created a phenomenon which grows stronger and deadlier with every counter initiative. The proliferation of terrorist activities post the American invasion of Iraq has resulted in severe atrocities against civilians. As if in reprisal, incidents of lone wolf attackers have also been on the rise in the past few years. The brutality and violence of such acts have only added to the rising toll of injuries, deaths, and damage to property. The recent attacks in Manchester and in London, the Nice attack and the Ohio State University attack of July and November 2016, and the Quebec City mosque shooting in Canada in January this year are only a handful of instances, shattering the semblance of national security.

While the West has its guard up, nations closer to home have realised the severity of the present day ISIS threat. In 2016, the National Investigation Agency busted a module of ISIS agents in Hyderabad and in December proceeded to file charge sheets against them. Even our neighbour, Pakistan, is coping with the rising muscle of ISIS in its backyard. In February this year, a suicide bomber attacked the Shrine of Lal Shahbaz Qalandar in Sehwan, Pakistan, which has also been claimed by the Islamic State. This week, the organisation ruthlessly murdered two Chinese teachers who it had kidnapped from the South-Western province of Balochistan last month.

Regional (ASEAN, SAARC) and supranational institutions (EU, UN) need to reach a consensus in order to form a global framework of counter-terrorism strategies to combat the global common threat of terror.

The author is a researcher at the Symbiosis International University

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