Pakistan one of the biggest victims of terrorism: Khar

Last Updated: Tuesday, January 15, 2013 - 23:37

United Nations: Pakistan has been "one of the biggest victims of terrorism", Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar said today, noting a "uni-dimensional" approach to defeat the "hydra-headed monster" will not be sufficient.
"Terrorism is a serious threat to Pakistan. We have been one of the biggest victims of terrorism. We can, therefore, relate to, feel, and share the pain and suffering caused by terrorism anywhere in the world," Khar said at a UN Security Council open debate here on `A comprehensive approach to counter-terrorism`.
Pakistan, which organised the special debate, is currently the rotating President of the powerful 15-nation UN body.

Khar chaired the debate and would be participating at events hosted by think tanks during her stay in the city.

Khar said as the threat of terrorism continues to evolve, so should the strategies of the international community to deal with it.

"This threat is not for today or tomorrow or for the next week or for a year. It is a long haul. We all have to brace for it. We all have to continue to prepare for it," she said.

Khar said terrorism has a direct bearing on all countries and regions adding that Pakistan`s approach to counter- terrorism is based on deterrence, development and dialogue.

"We must attack and dismantle terrorist networks because they defy the writ of the State and kill civilians. And we must persevere in our efforts to deter and defeat terrorists militarily."

The fight against terrorism over the last 10 years has shown that terrorism knows no geographical boundaries and "a lopsided or uni-dimensional approach will not work as we try to defeat this hydra-headed monster of terrorism."

"This monster also has tentacles all around the world. This is truly a global threat. Our strategies and responses must also be global," she said.

The Pakistan Foreign Minister noted the international
community is aware of the "unintended consequences of political decisions that can fuel the scourge of terrorism.

"Short-sighted methods of dealing with terrorism can offer ideological fodder to the cause of terrorism," she said, adding a comprehensive and interlocking approach is required to "not only winning the battles but the war."

Stressing that regional cooperation is necessary for peace and security, Khar said Pakistan and Afghanistan have taken steps towards a strategic relationship to jointly fight terrorism.

"This is a multi-pronged approach to counter terrorism. We are supporting an Afghan-led and Afghan-driven reconciliation process and efforts aimed at creating a peaceful and stable Afghanistan. We believe that peace and stability in Afghanistan will have a direct salutary impact on Pakistan," she said.

Khar said efforts have to be intensified to resolve "long festering conflicts and crises that spawn extremism" for sustainable solutions to deal with terrorism.

She called for a comprehensive approach to defeat terrorism noting that law enforcement measures, intelligence operations or military and security strategies alone would not be sufficient.

"Terrorists` misleading, distorted and malicious narrative, and their demented ideology that justifies killing of innocent people must be quashed by the international community, by the UN Security Council," Khar said, adding Pakistan condemns terrorism in all its forms "committed by whomever, wherever and for whatever purpose. All acts of terrorism are criminal and unjustifiable regardless of their motivations."

The international community should also focus on creating employment and development opportunities for people in regions scarred by terrorism "so that terrorists cannot lure them to their side."

Khar further said trade, allowing preferential market access to products produced within the region wracked by terrorism and dialogue are required to defeat terrorism.

Noting that terrorists continue to use new technologies and the internet for recruitment, incitement and financing their activities, Khar said counter-terrorism efforts need to adapt to these challenges and develop quick response strategies for real-time response.

The global community should also take collective and national measures to counter all forms of financing of terrorism, including through the proceeds of organized crime and illicit narcotics.

"Terrorism and extremism cannot and should not be associated with any religion, race, region, value system, or society. Attributing encouragement, incitement or inspiration of terrorist acts to any religious tradition or doctrine is unacceptable. An honest dialogue between different religions and civilizations is, therefore, a continuing political imperative," she said.

"Terrorism undermines global stability and prosperity. It undermined Pakistan`s stability and economic prospects. That is why we have asked our partners in the international community to enhance our market access for the products in which we have comparative advantages," Khar added.

PTI



First Published: Tuesday, January 15, 2013 - 23:36

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