New York, 15 April 2016
Ambassador Maleeha Lodhi told the UN Security Council that those casting aspersions on Pakistan’s contribution to counter terrorism are making baseless accusations and undermining global cooperation to deal with the scourge. She also called on the international community to unite to defeat terrorism.
Speaking in the Security Council debate on the terrorist threat to international peace and security, Pakistan’s Permanent Representative said that Pakistan had made substantial gains in its anti-terrorism campaign, at a time when the global threat of terrorism had become more “pervasive”.
Ambassador Lodhi said that Pakistan’s commitment to the campaign against terrorism is clear, present and tangible. The country, she added,has been at the forefront of the global fight against terrorism.
“We have lost tens of thousands of lives in this fight, but this has not shaken our resolve to continue this campaign until the last terrorist is eliminated from our soil”, she asserted.
Endorsing the need for the international community to join hands to combat this menace, “urgently and effectively”, Ambassador Lodhi said, “Pakistan condemns all terrorist acts perpetrated anywhere in the world for whatever reason or justification”.
She urged the 15 member Council to assess why the international community has found its goal of eliminating terrorism to be elusive, despite huge investment and efforts. She said while there have had been global successes “but with each success, we also encountered a new challenge, at times more imposing than the one we surmounted”.
Pakistan, Ambassador Lodhi said, has for a decade been a leading voice urging the international community to focus on the “root causes of terrorism”. She said that security measures alone were not enough to address the underlying causes. “The more we resorted to kinetic means alone to defeat terrorist groups, the more we saw their proliferation”.
Emphasizing the need to address violent extremism in a comprehensive manner, the Pakistani envoy said, “We must deal with both external and internal dimensions and recognize the complex interplay between local and international factors to prevent violent extremism that leads to terrorism”.
Ambassador Lodhi said that Pakistan has adopted a comprehensive approach to address a multi-faceted phenomenon.
She recounted the significant gains Pakistan had made on the security front. The country has sought to eliminate all terrorist groups, through forceful law enforcement actions and targeted military operations.
Describing Operation Zarb-e-Azb, launched in June 2014, as “the largest anti-terrorism campaign anywhere in the world”, she said this has produced remarkable results. Thousands have been killed or captured. The rest are on the run as we enter the final phase of this offensive in out tribal areas”, she added.
She also told the Council that through well-coordinated, intelligence-based law enforcement operations across Pakistan, a focused campaign has been underway against terrorist sleeper cells, their supporters, sympathizers and financiers.
Pakistan, she said, was perhaps among the few countries, which has a Ministerial level Committee to oversee the implementation of relevant Security Council resolutions.
In conclusion, Ambassador Maleeha Lodhi said the need for all States to work together, in a coordinated and cooperative manner, to address this menace has never been as compelling as it is today.