Malaga: Union Minister of State for External Affairs Meenakashi Lekhi on Tuesday laid stress on Afghanistan becoming safe haven for terrorism at a high-level international conference on human rights, civil society and counter-terrorism.

Speaking at the conference, she said, "Afghanistan is once again at the risk of becoming a safe haven for Al-Qaida, ISIL and a number of other UN-designated terrorist groups such as Lashkar-e-Taiba and Jaish-e-Mohammed," read the Ministry of External Affairs press release.

Paying tribute to the victims of terrorism and their families for their pain, suffering and losses, Lekhi said that terrorism is the biggest violator of human rights.

"It seriously impairs the enjoyment of human rights, jeopardizes peace and security, extracts a huge human toll and threatens our social fabric and economic development," said the MoS.

She also briefed the conference about India's problem which has been the victim of terror.

"For the last several decades, India has been a victim of terrorism, particularly cross-border terrorism, by UN-designated terrorist groups, such as Lashkar-e-Taiba, Harkat-ul-Mujahidin, and Jaish-e-Mohammad, as well as their aliases and proxies. The memories of the horrors of the 2001 Parliament Attack, 2005 Delhi bombings, 2008 Mumbai, the 2016 Pathankot and Uri and the 2019 Pulwama terror attacks are still afresh," she said.

The MoS also attacked the double standards of some countries and urged unequivocal condemnation from the international community, especially when terrorism is used as an instrument of State's Foreign Policy, added the release.

Sharing views on trends and challenges of terrorism, Lekhi highlighted that terrorism remains the most significant threat to international peace and security and can only be defeated by a collective fight against it.

"We need to distinguish between the political ideologies which are part of a pluralistic democratic polity, as against radical ideologies which subscribe to terrorism. To paint them with the same brush is inaccurate and counterproductive," said Lekhi.

She also asked states to acknowledge the ability of non-state actors to use ICT, emerging technologies such as social media, new payment methods, video games, encrypted messaging services, cryptocurrencies, drones, bio-warfare etc. for terrorist purposes.

"The same has emerged as a serious concern as most of the countries do not have adequate response capabilities to counter these threats. Non-state actors are using the tools of globalisation and are cutting through the artificial barriers of borders and are forming coalitions across the border challenging democratic nation-states," she added.

She also emphasized the need to strengthen the international legal framework by early adopting of Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism for defining terrorism, prosecuting terrorists under special laws and making cross border terrorism an extraditable offence globally.

Lauding the work done by civil society in the prevention of terrorism and rehabilitation of victims of terrorism, she warned about the risk posed by fake NGOs and charities which support and cause illegitimate activities.

"We will continue to support United Nations Counter-Terrorism Office (UNOCT) and United Nations Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate (UNCTED) including in our capacity as Chair of the UN Counter-Terrorism Committee," she added.