Stating that some states are resorting to proxy war by supporting non-state actors such as terrorist groups to evade international censure, India said at the UN on Wednesday that a country would be compelled to undertake “pre-emptive strike” when confronted by an ” imminent armed attack ”from a non-state actor operating in a third state. The government also extended several proxy cross-border terror attacks, including Pulwama andObject]" class="" data-ga="within_article-topic_link|topic_pathankot" frmappuse="1">Pathankot, perpetrated against India from its neighborhood, even though it did not name Pakistan.
India’s Deputy Permanent Representative to the UN K Nagaraj Naidu said at an Arria-Formula meeting organized 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-defense against a non-state actor operating in the territory of another host state can be expected if the “non-state actor has repeatedly 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, ”ambassador Naidu 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,” Naidu said.
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-defense’.
Naidu told the 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-defense 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.