New York, March 26, 2015

Ambassador Maleeha Lodhi told the UN Security Council that Pakistan was implementing a comprehensive National Plan of Action to address a very complex and imposing challenge of terrorism that involves police and security actions, building resilience in local communities against radicalization as well as political, social and financial measures.

Pakistan’s Permanent Representative to UN, while participating in the Security Council Open Debate on Children and Armed Conflict said that violence and attacks on children, particularly by non-state actors, were on the rise globally. “Armed groups have committed barbaric acts of terror against children. But children are also victims of brutal force in several situations of foreign occupation. We all saw on our television screens what happened to the children of Gaza”, she added.

Ambassador Lodhi said that Pakistan joins the international community in condemning these atrocities in the strongest terms.

Referring to the massacre of over a hundred and thirty school children in Pakistan’s city of Peshawar three months ago, Ambassador Maleeha said that the Peshawar school attack has strengthened the resolve of the government and the people of Pakistan to combat terrorist violence and the groups that inflict this. She said, “It has further reinforced our national consensus to defeat terrorism in all its forms and manifestations”.

The school children across the country stood in solidarity with the victims and expressed an unshakable and collective resolve to confront terrorists, Pakistan envoy said and added that these children have been inspired by the power of Malala, Pakistan’s Nobel prize winner, who took a bullet in the head rather than submit to the terrorists’ dictates or agenda.

Ambassador Lodhi also told the 15-member Council that Pakistan has embarked upon an effective law enforcement campaign, including Zarb-e-Azab in its tribal area, to take out terrorists, dismantle their networks and halt the flow of finances to them from inside and outside the country.

She said that the priority areas were: preventing the recruitment and indoctrination of children by extremist and militant organizations as well as focusing on education to promote tolerance and harmony. Key steps being taken this regard, she added, include registration and regulation of religious seminaries, curbs on hate literature and material, and introduction of a modern school curricula.

Emphasizing the need for a collective response to keep the citizens and children safe from the violent actions of armed groups, Ambassador Lodhi said that even as Pakistan executes its campaign against terrorists and acts to protect its children, sharing best practices and experience gained by different countries would be of great help.

She concluded by saying that in the context of today’s debate Pakistan wished to underscore that the legal parameters of the Council mandate must be respected and the focus should remain on situations of armed conflict and those threatening international peace and security.