Statement by Ambassador Amjad Hussain B. Sial, Deputy Permanent Representative of Pakistan to the United Nations, New york, Agenda Item 106: Measures to Eliminate International Terrorism. (6 October 2009)

Mr. Chairman,

My delegation would like to congratulate you and other members of the Bureau of the Sixth Committee on your election. We are confident that your professional excellence and top managerial skills will auger well for the successful completion of this Committee’s work.

My delegation aligns itself with the statements made by the distinguished representatives of the OIC Group and the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) on this agenda item.

Mr. Chairman,

Yesterday a terrorist suicide bomber attacked the World Food Programme (WFP) office in Islamabad, killing five innocent WFP employees; four Pakistanis and an Iraqi national. Seven persons were injured in the attack. The Government and People of Pakistan strongly condemn this heinous act of terrorism and convey their condolences and sympathies to the families of the deceased and to those injured in the attack. We especially extend our sincere condolences to the family of Mr. Botan Ali, a national of brotherly Member State of Iraq. The Prime Minister of Pakistan has already sent a message of condolence to the Secretary-General of the United Nations (UN). These cowardly terrorist acts will not weaken our resolve to fight terrorism.

Mr. Chairman,

Pakistan unequivocally rejects terrorism in all its forms and manifestations, committed by whomsoever, wherever, and against whomsoever. We also reject senseless killings of civilians in all parts of the world, may those be motivated by ideological differences or convenience of use of overwhelming force against soft targets.

The international community’s fight against terrorism is an intricate challenge. No simple solution could address indoctrination of suicide bombers, the difficulties of twisted ideologies, and economic marginalization of affected societies. Nor could this fight be launched in a piecemeal manner so that sacrifices of our law enforcement agencies and operational victories of international community could be eaten up by the legacies of historical injustices and prolonged unresolved conflicts.

We also need to overcome the denial of reality about the causes of this menace. The fixation on one-dimensional approach to fight terrorism, either through operational measures alone or through political measures only, needs to be reconciled. Such narrow approaches have preserved our short term national interests at the cost of long term global peace and security.

Mr. Chairman,

Pakistan fully supports the United Nations Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy adopted by Member States by consensus. The Strategy, though not an ideal and coherent document, attempts a comprehensive approach to fight terrorism. It envisages political, operational, capacity building and human right measures to strengthen global fight against terrorism. The primary responsibility to implement the Strategy at the national level rests with Member States, but its international “coordination and coherence” is facilitated by the United Nations Secretariat.

At the national level, in Pakistan, we are following the comprehensive approach adopted in the UN Counter-Terrorism Strategy to fight this menace. We have launched a thorough public awareness campaign about the atrocities committed by the terrorists. We are focusing on the plight of victims of terrorism to ensure their well being and appropriate rehabilitation.

We have challenged terrorists hiding in the most remote and inaccessible mountains of the world. We have conducted a successful law enforcement operation in Malakand Division of North Western Pakistan to up root the terrorists from their hide outs and to bring them to justice. Our law enforcement activities are strongly embedded in respect for human rights and international norms in the fight against terrorism. The Swat / Malakand operation involved internal displacement of over two (2) million people and their subsequent rehabilitation. We thank all our friends and the United Nations’ institutions that supported affected people of the region in these testing times.

We have deployed over 150,000 troops on our western border to interdict cross border movement of the Taliban and the Al Qaida. In the broader international quest for peace and security our Naval Forces are actively participating in the anti-piracy operations in the Gulf of Aden. Above all, we are also encouraging our friends to find solutions of long unresolved regional and international conflicts.

The “coordination and coherence” of the UN Counter-Terrorism Strategy within the United Nations system falls in the domain of the UN Counter-Terrorism Implementation Task Force (CTITF). The CTITF has been institutionalized, within the existing resources, in pursuance of the Counter-Terrorism Strategy and its follow up resolutions. Mr. Jean-Paul Laborde, the able Chairman of the CTITF, however, is faced with the daunting task of implementing all four pillars of the Strategy in a balanced manner. The credibility and legitimacy of the CTITF depends on the balanced implementation of the Strategy, but to achieve this objective Member States will have to appropriately enable the CTITF by institutionalizing it through regular budgetary resources. In turn the CTITF will have to implement the Strategy in a balanced manner and further enrich quality of its reports.

Mr. Chairman,

Pakistan is a party to eleven (11) universal and two regional counter-terrorism instruments. At national level we have enacted Pakistan Arms Ordinance Act, the Surrender of Illicit Arms Act, the Terrorists Special Courts Act, the Anti-Terrorism Act, the Control of Narcotics Substance Act, the Anti-Narcotics Force Act, the Pakistan Madrasah Education Board Ordinance, and the Anti-Money Laundering Ordinance.

While we recognize success of the United Nations General Assembly in adoption of a consensus UN Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy and thirteen sectoral counter-terrorism instruments, we also support early adoption of a consensus text of the drat Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism. However, in this regards we have repeatedly come across following questions:

  1. Why a draft Comprehensive Convention on Terrorism, which does not aim at providing an overarching and comprehensive definition of terrorism, is being labeled as a “comprehensive convention”?
  2. When will we attempt a comprehensive definition of terrorism, if we want to restrict ourselves to a law-enforcement definition of terrorism in the draft Comprehensive Convention?
  3. Why International Humanitarian Law (IHL) related questions in the draft Comprehensive Convention are not being addressed in the IHL language?
  4. Why some Member States are reluctant to repeat relevant provisions of the United Nations Charter in the operative parts of the draft Comprehensive Convention?
  5. Why the question about the role of military forces in peacetime is simply being ignored?

We will again consult our friends on this Committee’s forum to help articulate answers to these questions and to ensure early adoption of the draft Comprehensive Convention through consensus.

Mr. Chairman,

In conclusion I will like to reiterate my delegation’s support for the proposal of the Custodian of Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah Bin Abdulaziz to establish an international centre, under the auspices of the United Nations, to combat terrorism; the Egyptian proposal for a high-level conference on counter-terrorism; and the Tunisian proposal to develop an international counter-terrorism code of conduct within the United Nations framework to combat terrorism.

I thank you Mr. Chairman.