Statement by Mr. Raza Bashir Tarar, Deputy Permanent Representative of Pakistan to the United Nations, in the Sixth Committee during 66th UN General Assembly on agenda item 109: Measures to Eliminate International Terrorism New York, (4 October 2011)

Mr. Chairman,

The Pakistan delegation felicitates you and other members of the Sixth Committee Bureau on your election. We are confident that given your able leadership, the Committee’s prospects are bright. Needless to say, you can count on our fullest cooperation.

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

Mr. Chairman,

Pakistan unequivocally rejects terrorism in all its forms and manifestations, committed by whomsoever, wherever, and against whomsoever. We also condemn senseless killings of civilians in all parts of the world, whether motivated by ideological differences or use of disproportionate force against soft targets. Terrorism and extremism cannot and should not be associated with any religion, race, ethnicity, faith, value system, culture or society. Attributing encouragement, incitement or inspiration of terrorist acts to any religious tradition or doctrine is regrettable to say the least.

Our collective fight against terrorism is a weighty and intricate challenge. Hobbyhorses, wish lists and scapegoating can temporarily gloss over but not resolve festering international disputes, perceived wrongs, grievances, grudges and economic marginalization.

We, also, cannot afford to conduct this campaign in a piecemeal manner. We need a comprehensive approach to counter terrorism effectively. The fixation on one-dimensional approach to fight terrorism, either through operational measures alone or exclusively through political measures should be avoided. Such narrow approaches prioritize short term national interests over global peace and security in the long run.

Mr. Chairman,

We the international community can only continue to remain in denial about the root causes of terrorism at our collective detriment. Poverty, unemployment, and long unresolved disputes need to be addressed to make our dialogue on counter-terrorism issues result oriented and fruitful.

Bringing the disenchanted into the political mainstream can be very useful. It is necessary to eschew policies that alienate people and make them vulnerable to extremism. Dialogue, understanding and empathy rather than oppression should be instruments of choice.

Mr. Chairman,

Pakistan fully supports the United Nations Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy adopted by Member States by consensus. While less than ideal and lacking coherence, the document-twice reviewed since 2006-nevertheless, represents valuable consensus of the international community.

The consensus resolution on the second review of the United Nations Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy has underlined the importance of the observance of the rule of law and due process in the implementation of the Strategy. Pakistan supports the continuation of reform in the procedures of the Security Council Committees to ensure due process. We welcome the recent efforts made by the Council and expect that the process will continue in the right direction.

One important aspect of the UN Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy, however, is that it has broadened the scope of counter-terrorism to include the larger endeavour to counter extremism through intercultural dialogue. The implementation of the Strategy would be helped if it addresses the problem of defamation of certain religions and promotes economic and social development.

Mr. Chairman,

At the national level, in Pakistan, we are following the comprehensive approach adopted in the UN Counter-Terrorism Strategy.

We are focusing on the plight of victims of terrorism to ensure their well-being and appropriate rehabilitation.

The world recognizes and applauds the important successes achieved by our security forces against terrorists. Pakistan has deployed 160,000 troops on its border with Afghanistan and has set up 822 border posts to interdict Al-Qaida/Taliban members.

The Pakistani armed forces have defended Pakistan, and the rest of the world at the highest cost. 30,000 innocent Pakistanis have been killed—men, women and children. The Pakistani nation will persist in its efforts to eliminate terrorism. It is imperative that all countries do more to combat this menace. Terrorism is a common threat that needs common solutions in a cooperative framework.

Mr. Chairman,

Pakistan fulfills its counter-terrorism obligations. Pakistan is a party to eleven (11) universal and two regional counter-terrorism instruments. Pakistan has become a party to the UN Convention for the Suppression of the Financing of Terrorism and has enacted a landmark Anti Money Laundering Bill. We have also 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, and the Pakistan Madrasah Education Board Ordinance.

A Financial Monitoring Unit has been established in the State Bank of Pakistan to monitor suspicious financial transactions. Hundreds of bank accounts to the tune of 750.8 million Rupees have been frozen. We are implementing the comprehensive international standards embodied in the 40 recommendations and 9 special recommendations of the Financial Action Task Force.

We recognize that the UN General Assembly has played an important role in developing legal instruments on counter-terrorism. The UN Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy has been adopted and endorsed twice with consensus. Counter- terrorism achievements of the UN during the last decade include the development of a legal and institutional framework comprising several sectoral instruments. The number of state parties to counter-terrorism conventions has increased significantly during the last ten years.

Significantly, the General Assembly has upheld the principles of consensus and cooperation in this context. The same should apply to adoption of a draft Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism. There are, however, several unanswered questions regarding definition and scope of the convention and some of which have been raised by this delegation earlier. It is unfortunate that not many groups have been able to endorse the 2007 Coordinator’s proposal for a draft convention, though it was presented nearly four years ago.

This state of affairs is indicative of real challenges. The magnitude of the problem should not deter us from finding solutions to the difficult outstanding issues. Pakistan is determined to remain engaged with negotiations on the draft comprehensive convention. We believe that provisions of the draft convention should clearly distinguish between acts of terrorism and legitimate struggle of people under foreign occupation for self-determination. Within the Convention’s ambit, International Humanitarian Law (IHL) related questions need to be addressed in IHL language.

Mr. Chairman,

Allow me to conclude by welcoming the establishment of the United Nations Centre for Counter-Terrorism (UNCCT) and signing of agreement between the UN and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for this purpose. We recognize that the original proposal for the establishment of such a Centre which has now been implemented was made by the Custodian of Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz. We are confident that the Centre will play an important role in the implementation of UN Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy. We also support the proposal for a high-level conference on counter-terrorism.

I thank you Mr. Chairman.