Fri, 04 Jan 2013 02:50:44 GMT

Uni-dimesnional counter-terrorism approach not sufficient: Pak



From Yoshita Singh
United Nations, Jan 4 (PTI) Terrorism poses an "existential threat" to Pakistan and an "uni-dimensional" approach to counter-terrorism is not sufficient to tackle the menace, Pakistan''s Ambassador to the UN Masood Khan said as the country assumed this month''s presidency of the UN Security Council.

Khan said other nations in the South Asian region, including Afghanistan also face the threat of terrorism and called for collective international measures to deal with terrorism.

Terrorism "is an existential threat to Pakistan," Khan told reporters here yesterday during a briefing to outline the Council''s agenda for the month of January.

As President of the 15-nation Council, Pakistan would hold an open debate on counter-terrorism which would be presided over by Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar. The ministerial-level open debate on January 15 would focus on a "comprehensive approach to counter terrorism".

Khan said Pakistan has been fighting the war on terror for the last 10 years along with other allies but the threat of terrorism still remains.

"This is a difficult issue... Success of the international community (in dealing with terrorism) is not full, it is still partial. The threat is there. The threat is tearing apart civilised societies," he said adding that terrorism is an international threat and is not specific to Pakistan, Afghanistan or to South Asian region.

Khan said through the open debate in the Council, Pakistan wants to highlight that a "uni-dimensional approach" to counter terrorism is not enough.

While military and intelligence mechanisms are excellent means to counter terrorism, Khan said nations would "have to go to the root causes" and work on areas which are becoming recruiting grounds for terrorists.

Countries would also have to bring the "misled" people to the national mainstream.

On the issue of drone strikes within Pakistani territory, Khan said civilian casualties due to the drones are a "matter of concern" but added that the war on terrorism is not a conventional war.

"You have to employ sophisticated mechanisms to gather intelligence," he said. "You have to neutralise terrorists, there should be no compromise on that. When one says military solution is not the only solution, it does not mean the military option should not be exercised."
He added that poverty and underdevelopment alone do not lead to terrorism.

"When you have demented ideologues propagating an ideology which incites hatred, that produces terrorist. It is important to counter their narrative," he said.

The Council would also focus on a number of issues that are part of its regular agenda, including developments in the Central African Republic, the Middle East, Syria, Sudan and South Sudan, and Darfur.

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