The Biden administration was apprised of Delhi’s displeasure over this issue through diplomatic channels.

NEW DELHI: The new US intelligence threat assessment report may have called out Islamabad for supporting anti-India activities on its soil, but New Delhi is displeased with Washington using the term “militant groups” in the report instead of “terrorist groups” being provided safe haven by Pakistan on the territory under its control. Through diplomatic channels, India has shared its objection and displeasure over this issue with the Biden administration, sources told The Sunday Guardian. This kind of milder and softer approach emboldens terrorist organisations and Pakistan state actors as well, sources said. This message was given to the diplomats who were accompanying the US Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo when she met with External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar and NSA Ajit Doval, sources said. “The security issues also figured during the trade-centric interactions,” sources said. Similarly, while attending the upcoming Quad summit in Sydney in May, Prime Minister Narendra will also urge the US and the global community to be much harsher and tougher against terrorist organisations based in Pakistan.
The unclassified version of the 2023 Annual Threat Assessment of the US Intelligence Community, which was released on Thursday, said, “Pakistan has a long history of supporting anti-India militant groups, and under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, India is more likely than in the past to respond with military force to perceived or real Pakistan provocations. Each side’s perception of heightened tensions raises the risk of conflict, with violent unrest in Kashmir or a militant attack in India being potential flashpoints.”
India is already annoyed with the fact that the US list of state sponsors of terrorism does not include the key state sponsors based in Pakistan. The question being asked at South Block is whether it is policy of the Biden administration not to link Pakistan with terrorism. “It is unfortunate that the latest report of the US intelligence threat assessment uses the term militant in reference to state support to terrorist groups,” said people aware of the entire development. “The assessment report was discussed and analysed threadbare at South Block. Though it reaffirms that there is a decisive government under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, which will not sit idle when it comes to giving military response to Pakistan for terror activities, the report is disappointing as it sounds a bit softer by not using the term terrorists,” a source maintained.
“Does it not strengthen the perception that the Biden administration is going soft on Pakistan despite its terror history? There has already been huge controversy over Biden’s decision to provide spare parts of F16s and help in maintenance of the fighter jets,” said an official. “Now, the US under him is using the term militancy instead of Pakistan sponsored terrorism,” he added.
The comments on terrorism by India’s Permanent Representative to the UN Ambassador Ruchira Kamboj at the United Nations assume importance in this context. “Your Terrorist”, “My terrorist” labelling extremists is “dangerous” and will only lead to diluting of focus to combat terror attacks, she pointed out on Thursday. She said, “The tendency of categorisation of terrorism based on the motivations behind terrorist acts is dangerous and goes against the accepted principles that ‘terrorism in all its forms and manifestations should be condemned and there cannot be any justification for any act of terrorism, whatsoever.” Kamboj was speaking at the First Reading of the Draft Resolution on the 8th Review of the Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy (GCTS). There is no such thing as good terrorist, bad terrorist, Kamboj insisted saying, “will only take us back to the pre-9/11 era of labelling terrorists as ‘Your Terrorists’ and ‘My Terrorists’ and erase the collective gains the international community has made over the last two decades.
In fact, the Indian envoy’s statement amounted to a clear-cut message to the entire global community including the US on how a soft and convenient approach towards terrorism may mar the collective fight against the menace. Diplomats in India see it as a significant message that should be viewed in the context also of the US intelligence report mentioning the “militant groups” instead of hitting hard at Pakistan by using “terrorist groups”.