Pakistan at forefront of international fight against terrorism: Ambassador Khan

Web DeskWeb Editor

08th Jul, 2021. 02:23 pm
Pakistan Terrorism

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan has been at the forefront of the international fight against terrorism and has rendered innumerable sacrifices in this regard, a diplomat said on Thursday.

Ambassador Mohammad Aamir Khan, deputy representative of Pakistan to the UN in the General Assembly during the 7th Review of the UN Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy (GCTS) said that for more than a decade, the country has suffered the most due to terrorism, including the one supported and sponsored from abroad, suffering thousands of casualties of both civilians and security personnel.

The most recent manifestation of this externally supported and financed terrorism is in the form of terrorist attack on June 23, 2021 in Lahore. Those responsible for organising, financing and supporting such terrorist attacks, and many more before it, must be held accountable by the international community, he said.

Pakistan welcomes the adoption of draft resolution entitled “The United Nations Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy: 7th Review” by consensus. “We express the hope that the adoption of this resolution will help in further strengthening international cooperation to prevent and combat terrorism in all its forms and manifestations, as well as towards the implementation of all the four pillars of the GCTS in a balanced manner.”

Khan said, “In addition to my delegation’s contribution to the general debate in the context of Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy, my intervention today also serves as Pakistan’s explanation of position on certain paras of the adopted resolution.”

One of the most important purposes of the GCTS review is to keep the strategy relevant and contemporary in the light of the emerging new threats and evolving trends of international terrorism.

Today, one of the most concerning emerging trends in the global terrorism is in the form of terrorist attacks on the basis of racism, xenophobia, intolerance, Islamophobia or other forms of intolerance, by violent nationalists, supremacists, far-right, and other such groups and ideologies.

The ambassador said the Covid-19 pandemic, unfortunately, has further exacerbated this threat, with such terrorist groups capitalising on the pandemic to spread hatred and conspiracy theories, including through internet and social media platforms.

In this regard, the adopted strategy quite rightly recognises with deep concern the overall rise in instances of discrimination, intolerance and violence directed against members of religious and other communities in various parts of the world, including cases motivated by Islamophobia and other such prejudices.

It calls upon the member states to take appropriate measures to address the new and emerging threats posed by the rise in terrorist attacks on the basis of xenophobia, racism and other forms of intolerance, or in the name of religion or belief; to counter direct and indirect forms of religious and racial discrimination and incitement to hostility, hatred and violence propagated by the terrorist groups.

He requested the UN secretary-general to develop a greater understanding of the motivations, objectives, organisations and the threat posed by such groups within the global terrorist landscape, including new and emerging threats, and to report on these in advance of the 77th UNGA session.

“We hope that the upcoming report of the [UN] secretary general will take a comprehensive overview of the emerging threats, in this regard,” he added.

Ambassador Khan said that to address the root causes of terrorism, it is imperative for the international community, in particular, the UN Security Council, to address situations of prolonged unresolved conflicts, foreign occupations, and denial of the right to self-determination.

History bears testimony to the undeniable reality that the suppression of the right of people to self-determination results inevitably in perpetuation of violence and conflict.

Aggressors, colonisers and occupiers often attempt to justify their suppression of legitimate struggles for self-determination and freedom by portraying them as ‘terrorism’, he said, adding: “We; therefore, welcome that the adopted resolution reaffirms the commitment of the international community to take measures to resolve prolonged conflicts, as well as to end foreign occupation in order to address conditions conducive to the spread of international terrorism.”

Pakistan has been and will continue to call for necessary changes in the global counter-terrorism architecture and the UN Security Council sanctions regime to end stigmatisation of followers of certain religions, as well as to broaden the scope of such measures against new and emerging threats, including on the basis of racism, xenophobia, intolerance, Islamophobia or other forms of intolerance.

“At the same time, we reiterate our call for enhancing the transparency of the UNSC sanctions regime, as well as addressing the deficiencies in the global counter- terrorism architecture and norm building, particularly as a result of the regulatory landscape being developed under the umbrella of the Security Council through adoption of Chapter VII resolutions,” Ambassador Khan said.

Likewise, a number of opaque and non-inclusive processes lacking the global memberships are increasingly been consolidated within the counter-terrorism architecture through the development of “soft law” standards and practices.

He said Pakistan welcomes the work of the Special Rapporteur of the Human Rights Council on the promotion and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms, while countering terrorism in this regard.

“We also acknowledge the contribution of the Office of the Ombudsperson to the Da’esh and Al-Qaeda Sanctions Committee, towards enhancing the transparency in the UNSC sanctions, and calls for further strengthening of the office.

The ambassador reassured Pakistan’s continued and unwavering support towards strengthening international cooperation to prevent and combat terrorism in all its forms and manifestations and towards the implementation of all the four pillars of the GCTS in a balanced manner.

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