Statement by Ambassador Masood Khan, Permanent Representative of Pakistan to the United Nations, on agenda item 110: Measures to Eliminate International Terrorism in the Sixth Committee during 68th Session of UN General Assembly (New York, 7 October 2013)

Mr. Chairman,

We congratulate you and Bureau members on the assumption of your offices. We are confident that under your able leadership the Committee will set new benchmarks for efficiency and effectiveness. Personally, I am so pleased to see you in the Chair.

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).

Mr. Chairman,

Pakistan strongly condemns terrorism in all its forms and manifestations, committed by whomsoever, whenever, wherever and for whatever purposes. We reject killings of civilians in any part of the world under the pretext of the so-called ideological differences or any other flawed reasoning.

The complex challenge of terrorism defies simplified solutions. The causes of terrorism are multiple and need a comprehensive response from the international community. We know that a piecemeal effort will not eliminate this scourge. Similarly, a uni-dimensional approach focused exclusively on operational or political measures will not produce the desired results. We need a comprehensive approach to stare down this hydra-headed monster which has national, regional and international tentacles.

In Pakistan, we are pursuing a comprehensive approach. We deter, by military means, the terror unleashed on our civilians and security personnel. We have allocated resources for the development of the areas which have been hit hardest by terrorism.

Recently, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif offered dialogue to end violence and wean young men off extremism. Addressing the General Assembly last month, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said that dialogue should not be seen as a sign of weakness or a tool of appeasement. Our purpose is to de-radicalize extremists and to bring them back to the national mainstream.

As our Prime Minister told this Assembly last month, in the past twelve years, we have given huge sacrifices, in blood and resources. We have lost 40,000 precious lives of men, women and children, which include 8,000 defense and security personnel. Our social and physical infrastructure has suffered colossal damages; and our economy has been denied the opportunity to grow fully.

Mr. Chairman,

The United Nations Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy, subsequent General Assembly review resolutions, and the relevant Security Council resolutions underline the importance of rule of law and due process while countering terrorism.

The war against terrorism must be waged within the framework of international law.

The use of armed drones in the border areas of Pakistan is a continued violation of our sovereignty, international law, and international human rights and humanitarian law. In this context, the UN Secretary General has called for adherence to the recognized principles of distinction and proportionality.

The use of drones results in casualties of innocent men, women and children leading to disaffection, alienation, and psycho-social trauma among the population centers hit by drones. It is also detrimental to our efforts to eliminate extremism and terrorism.

Following a drone strike, the entire Pakistani population becomes hostage for reprisals by terrorists who target their innocent victims at random in any part of Pakistani territory.

The Prime Minister of Pakistan has urged the United States to cease these strikes to stop further casualties and suffering.

With unwavering commitment to fight terrorism, Pakistan has deployed more than 150,000 troops along its border with Afghanistan. We have set up 1,707 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 the activities of 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 has also adopted a National Counter Terrorism Authority Bill to set up a new organization that will integrate counter-terrorism efforts of different bodies.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has started a process of sweeping reforms to amend Anti-Terrorism Act for accepting forensic and electronic evidence and taking preventive measures against targeted killing and kidnapping for ransom.

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 has recently taken significant to amend its Anti-Terrorism Act to effectively counter financing of terrorism. We are a member of the Asia/Pacific Group on Money Laundering, and party to the SAARC Regional Convention on Suppression of Terrorism and its Additional Protocol on Terrorist Financing.

Mr. Chairman,

We fully support the UN's 2006 Global Counter Terrorism Strategy. The UN strategy now addresses the root causes and conditions leading to the spread of terrorism; and aims to build a more harmonious environment among major civilizations.

The strategy should more sharply focus on the unjust defamation of certain religions and communities in the context of the fight against terrorism. The unfair and biased portrayal of Islam and Islamic beliefs and the acts of incitement and hate-speech against the faith of nearly 1.2 billion Muslims exacerbates the divergence in attitudes and creates misperceptions between the Islamic world and the West.

An honest dialogue between different civilizations is a political imperative. Terrorism and extremism should not be associated with any religion, race, ethnicity, faith, value system, culture or society.

The difficult challenge of terrorism needs urgent attention. The international community must address the root causes of terrorism including protracted unresolved conflicts, unlawful use of force, aggression, foreign occupation, denial of the right to self-determination and political and economic injustices, as well as political marginalization and alienation.

Pakistan supports the continuation of reform of the procedures of the Security Council Committees to ensure due process in the implementation of sanctions regimes; because much more needs to be done to satisfy the legal community on this front.

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. We believe that provisions of the draft convention should clearly distinguish between acts of terrorism and the legitimate struggles 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.

The deadlock in negotiations on the definition and scope of the draft convention highlights the divergence of positions of various groups. The postponement of negotiations till the sixty ninth session of the General Assembly was indicative of real challenges faced by us. 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,

The “coordination and coherence” of the UN Counter-Terrorism efforts must be enhanced by the CTITF without blurring the distinct mandates of the General Assembly and the Security Council.

Mr. Chairman,

We support the activities of the United Nations Center for Counter Terrorism. We recognize that the recent donation of US $ 100 million announced by the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz would go a long way to facilitate the implementation of UN Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy. We are satisfied with the progress of the Center. We also support the Egyptian proposal for a high-level conference on counter-terrorism.

I thank you Mr. Chairman.