Fight terror with democratic principles: NHRC chief
The fight against terrorism must be won in accordance with the rule of law, National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) chairman Justice K.G. Balakrishnan said here Saturday, adding that eyeing short-term gains would have serious consequences.
He said the approach to fighting terrorism should be "humane, rational and secular" and "consistent with democratic principles".
Justice Balakrishnan, a former chief justice of India, was speaking at the International Conference of Jurists, organised by the International Council of Jurists, in the national capital.
"To clip the wings of terrorism, international communities must target the roots of frustration as well as feeling of injustice", he said, adding that it was wrong to be "selective about violation of human rights and perpetrators of terrorism" as such an approach led to "double standards."
Minister for New and Renewable Energy Farooq Abdullah said: "We can't fight terrorism by law or deploying army and paramilitary forces alone unless we realise that if we have to survive, then we have to survive together."
In a reference to attempt by the United States and its allies at regime changes, Abdullah, a former chief ministe of Jammu and Kashmir, said: "Every nation has a right to live the way it wants to live and can't be dictated by others."
Linking 'hawala' money laundering transactions with terrorism, he said: "The government will not be able to wipe out hawala unless people come together."
He said the fight against terror had to be coupled with speedy justice and addressing grievances of the deprived sections.
At the event, Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Nepal Khil Raj Regmi was conferred the International Jurists Award 2012.
Justive Regmi said the existing legal framework, which was more reactive rather than preventive or pre-emptive in nature, was incapable of countering terrorism.
On the role of judiciary on curbing international terror, he said in certain situations, deterrent laws could be a necessity but cautioned that "any reckless use of anti-terrorist law imperils a host of rights", putting into "stake the principle of freedom and civil liberties on which rests the very foundation of constitutional structure."
Justice Samsuddin Choudhary of Bangladesh Supreme Court supported the hanging of Mumbai terror attack convict Ajmal Kasab, saying if terrorism was allowed to flourish, human rights would get annihilated.
"Hanging of Kasab was good and he deserved it," he said.
He said there could be "no compassion for terrorists as they have no compassion for innocent lives."
Referring to the mythology of Goddess Durga, he said the Assura (demon) of terrorism has born again and Maa Durga would have to take rebirth to destroy it.
He extensively quoted Bengali poet Rabindranath Tagore to drive home his point of putting an united fight against terrorism.
The International Jurists Award 2012 was also given to Charles Nuez. Besides, 12 people, including deputy editor of The Hindu J. Venkatesan, were given National Law Day Awards.