Pakistan calls for mechanism to implement UN anti-terror strategy

Pakistan has underscored the need  for developing an effective mechanism to implement the provisions of  the UN global strategy against terrorism to enhance international peace  and security.

“We have realized that the strategy in itself will be of little  value unless it is transformed into action by an effective implementation mechanism,” Ambassador Abdullah Hussain Haroon said of the four-year-old initiative to combat terrorism.

The Pakistan envoy was speaking in the UN General Assembly during  its second biennial review of the Global Strategy’s implementation by reaffirming support for the initiative’s four pillars.

The pillar are: tackling the conditions conducive to the spread of terrorism; preventing and combating terrorism; building States capacity  to prevent and combat terrorism and to strengthen the role of the UN system in that regard; and ensuring respect for human rights for all  and the rule of law as the fundamental basis for the fight against terrorism.

In his speech, Ambassador Haroon outlined the measures taken by Pakistan, emphasizing that the strategy, adopted in 2006, needed to be implemented in a comprehensive manner and all of its pillars must be  treated equally.

Pakistan, he added, considered the Strategy a “living document” that must reflect emerging issues and must be updated and revised regularly. Due to “an accident of history,” he said his country was on the frontlines of the global anti-terrorism campaign.

Pakistanis — victims of not only terrorism but also of earthquakes, floods and other natural disasters — were determined to rid their nation  of the scourge of terrorist activity. Pakistan had deployed some 120,000 security forces along its border with Afghanistan and had set up more than 900 border posts to interdict al-Qaeda and Taliban operatives, the ambassador pointed out.

Pakistan’s cooperation had pre-empted several terrorist plots, and it had captured hundreds of Al-Qaeda, including most of its top leadership.

“We have made sacrifices in blood and treasure in the war against terrorism,” he said, noting that history, geography and now climate anomalies had “pushed us to the wall”.

Ambassador Haroon said Pakistan had no option but to win the war and make the Counter-Terrorism Strategy a success for the sake of its own  people and the world.

Pakistan fulfilled its international obligations under the Global Strategy and it had ratified 10 of the 13 United Nations conventions relating to terrorism. He went on to stress Pakistan’s strong condemnation of terrorism in  all its forms, and its belief that such acts should not be associated with any particular race, faith or ethnicity. No religious tradition or doctrine could be depicted as encouraging or inspiring acts of terrorism, he said.

Pakistan supported a broad, cooperative and coordinated fight against terrorism, including efforts to address its root causes, such as prolonged and unresolved conflicts, unlawful use of force, aggressions, foreign occupation, denial of the right of people living under occupation to self-determination, and political injustice, marginalization and alienation.

In addition, Haroon said the strategy also address the unjust  defamation of certain religions. “The unfair and bigoted portrayal of  Islam and Islamic beliefs adds fuel to the fire of extremist and terrorist strategies and exacerbates the divergence in attitudes and perceptions between the Islamic and the Western worlds.”

He welcomed the idea of enhancing dialogue among member state counter-terrorism officials to promote international cooperation.