Maleeha calls for ef­fec­tive strat­egy to pre­vent ex­trem­ism

The Pak Banker - - NATIONAL -

Pak­istan's Am­bas­sador Maleeha Lodhi said at the United Na­tions that vi­o­lent ex­trem­ism was the re­sult of in­ter­play be­tween lo­cal and ex­ter­nal fac­tors and that "both di­men­sions have to be ad­dressed by an ef­fec­tive preven­tive strat­egy", says a press re­lease re­ceived here to­day from New York.

"Eco­nomic de­pri­va­tion, political in­jus­tice, so­cial ex­clu­sion and marginal­iza­tion of peo­ple need to be ad­dressed not only in the lo­cal con­text but also in the wider in­ter­na­tional con­text", Pak­istan's Per­ma­nent Rep­re­sen­ta­tive said while par­tic­i­pat­ing in the Gen­eral As­sem­bly de­bate on the re­cently an­nounced UN Sec­re­tary Gen­eral's Plan of Ac­tion to Pre­vent Vi­o­lent Ex­trem­ism.

Am­bas­sador Lodhi ar­gued that in­jus­tices done to peo­ple un­der for­eign oc­cu­pa­tion, de­nial of the right to self-de­ter­mi­na­tion, long-fes­ter­ing and un­re­solved dis­putes, and in­ter­fer­ence in the in­ter­nal affairs of States cre­ate con­di­tions that are ex­ploited by vi­o­lent ex­trem­ists and ter­ror­ists to prop­a­gate their twisted ide­olo­gies.

"The in­ter­na­tional com­mu­nity, in par­tic­u­lar the United Na­tions, al­ready has a re­spon­si­bil­ity to ad­dress th­ese is­sues. Do­ing so, dili­gently, will also ad­dress the driv­ers of vi­o­lent ex­trem­ism and the con­di­tions con­ducive to ter­ror­ism".

She said that Pak­istan was grat­i­fied to note that the in­ter­na­tional com­mu­nity is fi­nally ac­knowl­edg­ing the need to go be­yond se­cu­rity and mil­i­tary cen­tered coun­tert­er­ror­ist mea­sures and adopt a more com­pre­hen­sive ap­proach. Pak­istan has long ad­vo­cated this so that the un­der­ly­ing fac­tors that drive ter­ror­ist vi­o­lence are ad­dressed in their en­tirety. But Am­bas­sador Lodhi ex­pressed sur­prise and dis­may at the rel­a­tively lit­tle at­ten­tion given by the SG's Ac­tion Plan to ob­vi­ous in­ter­na­tional fac­tors that have so de­ci­sively in­flu­enced the emer­gence of vi­o­lent ex­trem­ism.

Am­bas­sador Lodhi told the 193-mem­ber Gen­eral As­sem­bly that the rise of xeno­pho­bia, in par­tic­u­lar Is­lam­o­pho­bia in the West, has also fu­eled the process of rad­i­cal­iza­tion. "This has so far gone unchecked and un­for­tu­nately un­prin­ci­pled, xeno­pho­bic politi­cians have sought to build their political for­tunes by spread­ing fear and de­lib­er­ate mis­char­ac­ter­i­za­tion of peo­ple of other faiths or cul­ture". Stress­ing the need to en­sure re­spect for in­ter­na­tional law and hu­man rights in coun­tert­er­ror­ism mea­sures, the Pak­istani en­voy as­sailed for­eign mil­i­tary in­ter­ven­tions that she said have ren­dered coun­tries and re­gions sus­cep­ti­ble to the chaos in which vi­o­lent ex­trem­ism thrives.

She also crit­i­cized so-called sur­gi­cal coun­tert­er­ror­ism strikes, in vi­o­la­tion of the ter­ri­to­rial in­tegrity of States, which have re­sulted in thou­sands of civil­ian ca­su­al­ties and left en­tire com­mu­ni­ties an­gry and de­ter­mined to avenge such im­punity. With re­gard to the Sec­re­tary Gen­eral's call for Na­tional Ac­tion Plans to pre­vent vi­o­lent ex­trem­ism, Am­bas­sador Lodhi told the world body of the steps taken by the Govern­ment of Pak­istan to curb this threat, at the na­tional, re­gional and in­ter­na­tional lev­els. She said that eight of the 20 Ac­tion Points of Pak­istan's Na­tional Ac­tion Plan to counter ter­ror­ist vi­o­lence per­tain to pre­vent­ing vi­o­lent ex­trem­ism.

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