United Nations, September 09 (KMS): Pakistan has called for countering terrorism by addressing its underlying root causes at a UN meeting aimed at advancing the rights and needs of people whose lives have been upended by the scourge.
Pakistan’s permanent representative of to the UN, Ambassador Munir Akram, at the UN session said, “Pakistan has been principle victim of terrorism, terrorist attacks based on xenophobia, racism, and other forms of intolerance, or in the name of religion of belief.” The meeting was part of the first UN Global Congress of Victims of Terrorism.
He said, we have lost more than 80,000 precious lives and suffered over $120 billion in economic losses. He pointed out that no country has sacrificed more than Pakistan for achieving peace. The ‘core’ of the international terrorist groups – Al-Qaeda and ISIS have been decimated, in case of Al-Qaeda largely due to Pakistan’s contribution, he added.
Pointing out that the threat from terrorism continues – and it has spread geographically, the Pakistani envoy called for adopting appropriate strategies to eliminate the terrorist threats, APP reported. In this regard, he observed that “we have not addressed the root causes of terrorism – conflicts, oppression, foreign occupation and injustice. There is a need to have a comprehensive approach towards the issue of terrorism that takes into account all factors in the global counter terrorism strategy (GCTS) architecture.”
Ambassador Akram also stressed the need to distinguish between terrorism and legal struggles for freedom and self-determination, saying in situations of foreign occupation, it is the oppressor who defines the nature of the struggle.
“In occupied Jammu & Kashmir, the occupying forces have initiated a vicious campaign of state terrorism to prevent the Kashmir people from exercising their recognized right to self-determination,” the Pakistani envoy told the gathering.
State-sponsored terrorism against adversaries also remains to be effectively addressed, he said, adding that Pakistan continues to suffer from cross-border terrorism “sponsored and financed by the one South Asian nation which has fomented terrorism in all its neighbouring countries.”
Ambassador Akram also called for addressing the new forms of terrorism, including violent acts by white supremacist; far right extreme right wing, violent nationalist, xenophobic, Islamophobic, anti-Muslim and Hindutva groups and ideologies in various parts of the world.
He also underscored the need for countering disinformation campaigns aimed at spreading hate speech, conspiracy theories and other such harmful content by terrorist groups, individuals and entities, including on social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and similar internet providers.
The first UN Global Congress of Victims of Terrorism has been convened to address key issues that include protection, remembrance and recognition, and access to justice, as well as support and assistance.