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Pakistan’s Ambassador to the UN, Maleeha Lodhi focused the world body’s attention to the continued killings in Kashmir, saying that the brutalization of people struggling for their legitimate right to self-determination constitutes ‘state terrorism’.

Participating in the UN debate on Measures to Eliminate International Terrorism, Ambassador Lodhi said that the continued denial of the right to self-determination to people living under foreign occupation is a violation of international law as enshrined in the UN Charter.

Ambassador Lodhi pointed out that such violations of international law and the UN Charter should not be ignored.

In her discussion of terrorism Ambassador Lodhi made an impassioned plea to the global community to address the underlying causes of international terrorism.

She said an important factor why the world has not been able to defeat terrorism, despite tougher measures, is because the international community has been unable or unwilling to deal with the ” conditions conducive to terrorism ”

“But despite being obvious causative factors, the international community seems to lack the will to address these”, she added.

The Pakistani envoy also urged the international community to address longstanding situations of conflict and injustice in order to prevent the spread of extremism. She said that conflicts undermine development, break down governance, create a sense of injustice and fuel violence.

Yet in the context of preventing extremism, the global community has yet to address longstanding situations of conflict and injustice.

Ambassador Lodhi criticized those political forces in the West who were fanning Islamophobia. She said, “While there is consensus in the global community that terrorism cannot be associated with any religion, we see extreme Right parties in the West seeking to reap political dividends by fanning Islamophobia”.

“Why is no action taken against this deliberate hate mongering?”, she asked.

Pakistan, Ambassador Lodhi said, has been the principal victim of terrorism including that ‘supported, sponsored and financed’ from abroad. “We have lost more than 60,000 lives; many more have been injured”, she said.

Expressing Pakistan’s determination to counter terrorism, she said, “These losses have not diminished my country’s commitment to fight this menace. It has only reinforced our will to fight until the last terrorist is eliminated from the country”.

She told the world body of the multi-pronged strategy adopted by Pakistan, which has involved a military-led law enforcement campaign and a comprehensive National Action Plan against terrorists.

Ambassador Lodhi concluded by reiterating Pakistan’s full commitment to cooperate with the international community in its struggle against terrorism.

She pressed for a holistic approach that would address the root causes of conflicts as well as the now well-acknowledged drivers of radicalization that lie in economic and social marginalization and exclusion.

“Without taking a holistic approach, we will be fighting symptoms and not the underlying causes of the disease itself”, she said.

10 October 2016

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