Statement by Ambassador Raza Bashir Tarar, Deputy Permanent Representative of Pakistan to the United Nations, on agenda item 105: Measures to Eliminate International Terrorism in the Sixth Committee during 67th UN General Assembly (New York 8 October 2012)

Mr. Chairman,

We felicitate you and bureau members on assumption of your offices. Your able leadership bodes well for the Committee’s work.

We align ourselves with the statements made by the distinguished representatives of the Organization of the Islamic Cooperation (OIC) and the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) on this agenda item.

Mr. Chairman,

Pakistan strongly condemns terrorism in all its forms and manifestations, committed by whomsoever, wherever, and against whomsoever. We also reject senseless killings of civilians in any part of the world.

Pakistan is in the frontline of the global campaign against terrorism. No country has suffered as much as Pakistan at the hands of this monster. While recognized and lauded by the international community, Pakistan’s success against terrorism has exacted a heavy toll. Seven thousand Pakistani soldiers and policemen and over 37,000 innocent civilians, including men, women and children, have rendered the ultimate sacrifice. The survivors of these brave men and women are a constant reminder of the need to be vigilant and steadfast against terrorism.

With unwavering commitment to fight terrorism, Pakistan has deployed 150,100 troops along its border with Afghanistan. We have set up 1707 border posts to interdict Al-Qaida/Taliban members. Pakistan is committed to intensifying international cooperation in the security, police, financial and other aspects of the ongoing campaign to prevent and eliminate terrorism and terrorist groups and networks. The Pakistani nation will persevere in its efforts to eliminate terrorism. The issue has both regional and global dimensions. 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.

Pakistan is party to eleven universal and two regional counter-terrorism instruments. At the national level, we have enacted the Pakistan Arms Ordinance, 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 Bill. Pakistan is a member of the Asia/Pacific Group on Money Laundering. We are party to the SAARC Regional Convention on Suppression of Terrorism and its Additional Protocol on Terrorist Financing. Pakistan is committed to the implementation of all these major legal instruments.

Mr. Chairman,

In June this year, the General Assembly undertook the third review of the UN Global Counter Terrorism Strategy. The strategy is a compromise but consensus framework document. The adoption of the General Assembly resolution with consensus on the occasion of the third review of the Strategy indicates the convergence of views and the unity of international community on the issue of counter terrorism. However, the real added value of the UN strategy is that it has broadened the scope of the counter-terrorism campaign to encompass the root causes and conditions conducive to the spread of terrorism. It also includes the larger endeavor to eliminate extremism and build a more harmonious environment between the major civilizations.

The strategy also addresses the unjust defamation of certain religions and communities in the context of the fight against terrorism. The unfair and bigoted portrayal of Islam and Islamic beliefs and the acts of incitement and hate-speech against the faith of nearly two billion Muslims exacerbates the divergence in attitudes and perceptions between the Islamic and the Western worlds. An honest dialogue between different civilizations has become a political imperative. Terrorism and extremism should not be associated with any religion, race, ethnicity, faith, value system, culture or society. No religious tradition or doctrine should be depicted as encouraging or inspiring acts of terrorism.

The difficult challenge of terrorism defies facile solutions. The response of the international community has to be comprehensive, long-term and multi-pronged involving dialogue among civilizations, economic development, cultural harmony, dispute resolution, and political settlements. To achieve this objective, Pakistan supports the UN Global Counter Terrorism strategy and its balanced implementation to combat terrorism that must address the root causes of terrorism including prolonged unresolved conflicts, unlawful use of force, aggression, foreign occupation and denial of the right to self-determination, political and economic injustices as well as political marginalization and alienation.

The consensus resolution on the third review of the United Nations Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy has underlined the importance of the observance of the rule of law and due process while countering terrorism. Pakistan supports the continuation of reform in procedures of the Security Council Committees to ensure due process in the implementation of sanctions regimes. We appreciate the introduction of the institution of the Ombudsperson in the work of the 1989 (Al Qaida) Committee and support its work .We expect that the process of reform will continue in the same direction because much more needs to be done to satisfy the legal community on the issue of due process and effective remedy in the implementation of the sanctions regimes.

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’s role has been institutionalized in pursuance of the Counter-Terrorism Strategy and its follow up resolutions. The credibility and legitimacy of the CTITF depends on the balanced implementation of the Strategy. We appreciate the Task Force’s increased interaction with Member States and hope that it would redound to the effectiveness of the Strategy’s implementation.

Mr. Chairman,

On the draft comprehensive convention on international terrorism, we fully support the OIC’s position. We are in favor of the adoption of the Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism by consensus. During the Ad Hoc Working Group meeting in October-November 2011, consensus on the Convention was thwarted by differences, inter alia, on the definition of terrorism and scope of the Convention. We believe that provisions of the draft convention should clearly distinguish between acts of terrorism and legitimate struggle for self determination of peoples living under foreign occupation. International Humanitarian Law (IHL) related questions within the Convention’s ambit, need to be addressed in IHL language.

It is unfortunate that not many groups have been able to endorse the Coordinator’s proposal for a draft convention presented in 2007, though it was presented nearly five years ago. The deadlock in negotiations on the draft convention highlights the divergence of positions of various groups. The postponement of the spring meeting of ad hoc working committee this year was indicative of real challenges faced by the negotiations on the draft convention. We remain open to discuss any proposal which does not in any way compromise or constrain the legitimate struggle of people for their right to self-determination and against foreign occupation.

Mr. Chairman,

Let me conclude by reiterating our delegation’s support for activities of the United Nations Center for Counter Terrorism. We recognize that the original proposal for the establishment of such a Centre which has now been implemented was made by the Custodian of the 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 Egyptian proposal for a high-level conference on counter-terrorism.

I thank you Mr. Chairman.