Unsettled disputes including Kashmir seek UN’s attention, says Lodhi
UNITED NATIONS: As the United Nations frames its anti-terror strategy, Pakistan has called for the UN counter-terrorism strategy to focus more attention on settling global disputes that matter including Kashmir.
The counter-terrorism strategy must work to address unresolved disputes, foreign occupation and denial of the right of self-determination as part of measures to stamp out terrorism.
“The provisions of the draft Convention (against International Terrorism) should clearly distinguish between acts of terrorism and the legitimate struggles for self-determination of peoples living under foreign occupation,” Pakistan’s permanent representative to the UN Maleeha Lodhi told the UN General Assembly’s Sixth Committee.
The international community had already agreed that human rights violations contribute to violent extremism and even then killings continued in Kashmir and Palestine, Lodhi said.
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“Brutalisation and oppression of people struggling for their legitimate right to self-determination constitute state terrorism,” the Pakistani envoy expressed her views in a debate on “Measures to Eliminate International Terrorism”.
Reaffirming Pakistan’s will to eliminate terrorism, the ambassador pointed out that Pakistan had been a victim of much terrorism, losing over 60,000 precious lives.
Operation Zarb-i-Azb against terrorism in Pakistan made remarkable progress in the country and would conclude until the objective were obtained.
The world made several counter-terrorism strategies but terrorism continued to morph into more dangerous forms due to an unwillingness to address conditions conducive to terrorists, Lodhi said.
“Conflicts undermine development, break down governance, create a sense of injustice and fuel violence,” the ambassador said.
“Yet, in the context of preventing extremism, the international community has yet to address longstanding situations of conflict and injustice,” she said while referring to Kashmir and Palestine.
The ambassador said that extreme right political parties in the West were seeking to reap political dividends by fanning Islamophobia.
“While there was a consensus that terrorism cannot be associated with any religion, Why is no action taken against this deliberate hate mongering?” Lodhi asked.
She also stressed on the need for addressing the root causes of terrorism.
“Without taking a holistic approach, we will be fighting symptoms and not the underlying causes of the disease itself.”