Statement Ambassador Masood Khan, Permanent Representative of Pakistan to the United Nations UN Security Council’s Open Debate: “International Cooperation on Combating Terrorism and Violent Extremism” (19 November 2014)

Madam President,

We thank Australia for convening this debate and circulating a very solid and substantive concept paper to help us prepare for the debate.

Today's debate has as once again highlighted the strong nexus between terrorism and violent extremism. Ideologies, strategies and operations of terrorists and extremists overlap. In fact it is the violent extremism, in one form or the other, that fuels terrorism.

Both terrorism and violent extremism defy state writ, disrupt civil order, create anarchy to incite hatred, and execute their toxic agenda.

Violent acts justifiably require fitting military, offensive responses.

We must also develop national capacities to deconstruct these two phenomena to comprehend the conditions in which terrorism and violent extremism thrive. The underlying causes may include political and economic grievances, ethnic and religious tensions, and a sense of relevant deprivation, real or imagined.

We need to understand the mindset of the masterminds behind terrorism and violent extremism, counter their narratives, delegitimize their ideologies, devalue tools they use to make their messages attractive, and degrade the means they use to recruit and motivate followers.

We should also know what impels individuals to take violent action.

Comprehension, however, does not mean acquiescence or condonation of their heinous crimes. We condemn terrorism in all its forms and manifestations.

Madam President,

With the rise of the so-called Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), and the interflows of transnational terrorist groups and foreign terrorist fighters, the broader Middle East region, as well as scores of other countries have become more volatile and more vulnerable.

The United Nations has taken timely measures; now they must be implemented faithfully.

Madam President,

Our national experience is that there should be zero tolerance for terrorists and violent extremists.

That is why for the past several months we have been prosecuting an intense Zarb-e-Azb counter terrorist operation to take out terrorists, to dismantle their networks, to staunch their flow inside and outside borders, and to destroy their support system.

We have learnt that hard core terrorists abuse the name of religion to commit crimes against civilian and mistake overtures for dialogue as appeasement.

At the same time, we continue to make our efforts to bring misled moderate youth back to national mainstream, de-radicalize them and reintegrate them. This requires both political idiom and economic incentives. For that purpose, we are investing in the social, educational, religious and economic sectors.

Madam President,

Violent extremism is regrettably infecting all societies. Countering violent extremism requires strategies and solutions suited to the relevant environments. A ‘one size-fits all’ approach does not work.

Our national CVE experience has brought forth the following:

Madam President,

On foreign terrorist fighters, our Government has intensified efforts to implement Security Council resolutions 2170 and 2178. In this regard, real time information-sharing and effective coordination among all relevant national departments is most critical.

Madam President,

Pakistan welcomes the role played by the UN and its agencies in counterterrorism efforts. We view the UN as a facilitator and provider of technical expertise in areas identified by the member states.

We support the idea of a ‘Roster of Experts’ being developed by the UN Counter Terrorism Centre. Experts, well versed in local culture and environment, can act as a focal point in the UN system. The Council should weigh the benefits of creating a new post of a Special Representative on Extremism to synergize the work of the United Nations.

Measures to prevent extremism and violent terrorism should be mainstreamed. Most of the conflicts today are being driven by extremism, terrorism and asymmetric warfare. The UN peacekeeping missions from time to time have to deal with terrorism and transnational crime. But it would be prudent to keep peacekeeping missions focused on their primary mandate of keeping peace and protecting civilians. Counter-terrorism is too broad a brief to be neatly integrated or subsumed into peacekeeping.

We thank the leadership of the CTED, CTITF and UNCCT for their influential work in countering terrorism.

I thank you.