Pakistan's counter terrorism campaign enters intense phase

New York, 23 February, 2017

Pakistan said at the UN that the country has shown the will, capacity and resilience in combatting terrorism and that Pakistan’s campaign has now entered its most intense phase.

Speaking in an informal meeting of the General Assembly on the UN’s Global Counter Terroism Strategy, Pakistan Ambassador to the UN, Dr. Maleeha Lodhi said that Pakistan has been the principal victim of terrorism, having lost tens of thousands of lives.

“But this has only strengthened our resolve to continue our campaign until the last terrorist is eliminated from our country”, she emphasized.

Pakistan’s statement came after the new UN Secretary General, António Guterres unveiled his suggestions for a new UN CT architecture.

This envisages setting up a new office for Counter Terrorism headed by an Under Secretary General to lead the world body’s efforts to counter terrorism.

The UN chief opened the informal meeting by describing it as a first step toward consulting member states about his proposal.

Ambassador Lodhi told the meeting of the 193-member body that "Without addressing the underlying and root causes of terrorism, we will only be fighting its symptoms."

Calling for addressing the root causes of terrorism, she told the world body that Pakistan has always advocated that protracted unresolved conflicts, un-lawful use of force, aggression, foreign occupation, denial of the right to self-determination and political and economic injustice, as well as political marginalization and alienation contribute to the spread of terrorism. “Therefore, it is important not to delink terrorism from its political context”, Ambassador Lodhi stressed.

She said that “ As we deliberate on reforming the counter terrorism architecture, we also have to take into account initiatives being taken in the wider reform of the peace and security architecture,” while emphatically making the case for maintaining links between any new Office on Counter Terrorism and the UN’s Department of Political Affairs.

The Pakistani envoy said that while the UN’s Global Counter Terrorism Strategy remains the most comprehensive document to assist Member States in the elimination of terrorism, ‘it remains the sole responsibility of Member States to implement it’.

In this regard, she said, Pakistan believes that the principle of non-interference in the internal affairs of any Member States remains “fundamental, indeed sacrosanct.”

Ambassador Lodhi said her delegation would consider with an "open mind" all viable options for putting in place the new counterterrorism architecture with a view to agreeing on the best solution.

Pakistan, she added, would work with the U.N. and all member states to improve coherence and cooperation of the organizational set up on counterterrorism.