Statement by Ambassador Masood Khan, Permanent Representative of Pakistan to the United Nations, on the fourth review of the UN Global Counter- Terrorism Strategy (12 June 2014)

Mr. Chairman,

We express our deep appreciation for the efforts made by Ambassador Y. Halit Cevik of Turkey to facilitate and steer the Counter-Terrorism Strategy Review consultations. The agreed document is the result of his efforts and the resolve of States to reach consensus. We also pay tribute to Deputy Secretary General Jan Eliasson for his leadership.

Pakistan delegation associates itself with the statement made by Egypt on behalf of the OIC Group.

The scourge of terrorism continues to threaten the world. Our task to counter terrorism is thus unfinished. The revised and updated Strategy captures our collective determination to continue to pursue our recommendations in four key areas. We need to intensify our efforts to tackle the conditions conducive to the spread of terrorism; prevent and combat terrorism; build capacities; and ensure respect for human rights while countering terrorism.

The Strategy highlights the importance of dialogue, tolerance and understanding among civilizations, cultures, peoples and religions. Collectively, we need to promote economic and social development as a means to stem and eliminate terrorism and violent extremism.

Mr. Chairman,

We welcome the new elements incorporated in the resolution. These include: compliance by states, in any use of remotely piloted aircraft (armed drones), with the UN Charter, international law, and international humanitarian law, in particular the principles of distinction and proportionality, protection of the right to privacy in the context of digital communications; and the challenges posed by the use of communication technology by terrorists and self-radicalized individuals or lone terrorists.

Mr. Chairman,

We have taken note of the Report of the Secretary General on United Nations Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy; and welcome the approach of the Counter-Terrorism Implementation Task Force (CTITF) to enhance coordination and coherence in the work of UN bodies. We appreciate that the comprehensive matrix of all projects and activities being carried out by the thirty one Task Force entities is a useful tool to avoid duplication of work among UN bodies.

Mr. Chairman,

The complex challenge of terrorism defies simplified solutions and needs a comprehensive approach. 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.

In Pakistan, we are pursuing a comprehensive approach. That is why we deter terrorists primarily by military means. We have allocated resources for the development of the areas which have been hit hardest by terrorism. We have also pursued dialogue to stop carnage and bring stability but after making it clear that dialogue should not be seen as a sign of weakness or appeasement.

In the past twelve years, we have given huge sacrifices, in blood and resources. We have lost more than 49,000 precious lives of men, women and children, which include more than 9,000 defense and security personnel. Our social and physical infrastructure has suffered colossal damages; and the full potential of our economy has been stunted.

Pakistan has deployed more than 158,000 troops along its border with Afghanistan. We have set up 1,707 border posts to interdict Al-Qaida and Taliban members. Pakistan is committed to intensifying international cooperation in the security, police, financial and other aspects of the ongoing campaign to prevent and combat terrorism.

Our Government has condemned the recent drone strikes in North Waziristan, which are a violation of Pakistan’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. These strikes have an adverse impact on the Government’s efforts to bring peace and stability to Pakistan and the region.

Pakistan fulfills its international obligations, particularly its commitment to implement the UN Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy, with great responsibility. 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.

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.

Participation of the Pakistani police officers, judges and prosecutors in regional workshops organized by the Counter Terrorism Executive Directorate (CTED) in South Asia has been very productive. The eighth regional workshop, hosted by Pakistan in Islamabad, in October 2013, focused on enhancing capacity of regional states for effective investigation and prosecution of offenses by terrorists.

We thank you, member states here and the Secretary General, for the condemnation of the dastardly terrorist attacks in Karachi and Baluchistan. The foreign hand that masterminds and guides such attacks must also be exposed in order to disrupt, degrade and dismantle the terrorist networks targeting Pakistani civilians and installations.

Terrorism has no appeal. It has been condemned and denounced by the UN, world parliaments and governments and citizens of the world. There is no organization and entity that has endorsed the distorted and twisted philosophy of terrorists, and their murderous acts and tactics. Killing innocent civilians is not a doctrine. It is a crime plain and simple. That is why, it should not be sublimated by associating it with religion, nationality, race or ethnicity.

There is no appeal in the terrorists’ narrative. First, theirs is not a monolithic, uniform terrorist narrative.

Second, terrorists are using and inciting hatred to justify their acts. Their hallmark is that they target civilians, businesses and state institutions to create terror. In different parts of the world, they pedal different stories after they commit a heinous crime.

To devalue the criminal narratives of terrorists, we should make our own narrative – the narrative of our global civilization, with its rich and diverse mosaic – the central narrative. The terrorists’ narrative should be counter-narrative; not ours. In this context:

  1. There should be no impunity for terrorist acts.
  2. The criminality of terrorist acts should be highlighted in its entire context.
  3. The theories of violent extremism in any part of the world should be debunked to deny space to the proponents and conspiracies behind them.
  4. Education and the media should be used as powerful tool to banish the darkness in which terrorism and violent extremism grow.
  5. Heart-rending stories of the victims and survivors should be used to expose the atrocities of the terrorists.

Pakistan reaffirms its commitment to strengthen mutual cooperation in the fight against terrorism. To achieve this objective, Pakistan supports a rigorous implementation of the comprehensive and coherent strategy in order to address the root causes of terrorism including unresolved conflicts, political and economic injustices, and political marginalization and alienation.

I thank you, Mr. Chairman.