UNITED NATIONS, Oct 11 (APP): Pakistan has called for stepped up efforts to address terrorism’s root causes and to counter the unjust defamation of certain religions and communities that fosters misconceptions between the Muslim world and the West.
“The international community must address the root causes of terrorism including protracted unresolved conflicts, unlawful use of force, aggression, foreign occupation, denial of the right to self-determination and political and economic injustices, as well as political marginalization and alienation,” Ambassador Maleeha Lodhi told the General Assembly’s Sixth Committee, which deals with legal matters.
Speaking in a debate on terrorism, she reiterated Pakistan’s condemnation of the deadly menace in all its forms and manifestations.
Noting some progress on the United Nation’s Global Counter Terrorism Strategy, the Pakistani envoy underscored the need for sharpening its focus on countering the unjust defamation of certain religions and communities in the context of the fight against terrorism.
“The unfair and biased portrayal of Islam and Islamic beliefs is unacceptable and must not be allowed to continue,” Ambassador Lodhi said.
Acts of incitement and hate-speech against Muslims, she said, not only exacerbated the gulf in attitudes but also fostered misperceptions between the Muslim world and the West and these challenges must be addressed through political, normative and legal measures as also dialogue and diplomacy.
“The hard-earned stability that Pakistan enjoys today has been accomplished by a comprehensive approach to counter terrorism,” Ambassador Lodhi said.
No terrorist movement, she said, could be defeated by military means alone.
On its part, Pakistan was following a “whole of Society approach”, engaging community leaders, developing strong counter-narratives, enhanced regional cooperation and following international obligations.
Pakistan, she said, backed the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) position on a consensus-based Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism (CCIT).
The proposed Convention must be consistent with International Humanitarian Law and clearly differentiate between acts of terrorism and the legitimate struggles for self-determination of people living under foreign occupation.
“The malicious attempts by those who seek to manipulate the international consensus against terrorism to justify the suppression of people struggling for their right to self-determination must never be permitted to succeed,” Ambassador Lodhi told delegates from around the world.
“Without a holistic approach, we will be fighting only the symptoms and not the underlying causes of this deadly phenomenon.”
Stating that the capacity-building structure of the United Nations is a donor-driven process that is not catering to the needs of Member States, the Pakistani envoy underscored the need to develop a steady financing mechanism for the United Nations Counter-Terrorism Centre.
Pakistan, she said, was committed to cooperating with the international community to work jointly to counter terrorism.