India on Wednesday held Pakistan to account at the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) for harbouring terrorists and justified the cross-border action against “non-state actors” as an act of “self-defence”.
The statement was made at the Arria Formula meeting organised by Mexico titled “Upholding the collective security system of the UN Charter: the use of force in international law, non-state actors and legitimate self-defense”.
Without naming Pakistan, India’s Deputy Permanent Representative to the UN in New York, Nagraj Naidu said, “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.”
Adding that the state then is “exonerated” from any international obligation towards the “aggressor” state giving the example of the 9/11 attacks and US’ actions thereafter.
“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. In fact, Security Council resolutions 1368(2001) and 1373(2001) have formally endorsed the view that self-defense is available to avert terrorist attacks such as in the case of the 9/11 attacks,” he said.
While Article 2(4) of the UN Charter requires that states refrain from the use of force, Ambassador Naidu explained that the drafting history of Article 51