Khar defends Pak intelligence agencies in UN speech

Khar defends Pak intelligence agencies in UN speech

Khar defends Pak intelligence agencies in UN speech

Pakistan is determined to eliminate the "spectre of terrorism" from its soil and it is "keenly aware" of the threat that terrorism poses to its neighbours, Khar said.
Addressing the 66th session of the UN General Assembly on behalf of Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani, Khar said very few countries have been ravaged by the "monster of terrorism" as "brutally" as Pakistan has.

Defending the role of country's intelligence agencies, amid a row with the US over ISI's link with the dreaded Haqqani network, Khar said, "Notable success against al-Qaeda and its affiliates has been registered in recent years.

It is well known that following the Tora Bora bombing and consequent dispersal of al Qaida, it was Pakistan's intelligence and security agencies that interdicted a large number of al Qaida operatives.

Very recently, Yousuf Al Mauritani, the Chief Operative of Al-Qaeda was arrested in a joint ISI and CIA operation."

"If I began recounting Pakistan's sacrifices and Pakistan's suffering, I would keep you here till next September. We do not take terrorism lightly. We cannot to afford to take terrorism lightly, we have suffered far too much at its hand," she said.

US military chief Admiral Mike Mullen had described the Haqqani network as a "veritable arm" of the ISI. With terrorists attacking the "very idea of Pakistan," Khar said her country "is united in its determination to eliminate the spectre of terrorism from our soil, from our region and the world. It is Pakistan's firm determination not to allow any space on its territory for militants and terrorists."

She was quick to add that other countries in the region must also "pledge" that their respective territories will not be allowed to be used by terrorists against other nations.
"We are keenly aware about the threat terrorism poses to Pakistan, to Pakistan neighbours, or to the rest of the world," she said adding that it is important to enhance international cooperation to obliterate terrorism in all its forms and manifestations.
Terming terrorism as a global issue, Khar said the problem of organising, financing, arming, supporting and abetting terrorist violence needs to be addressed seriously and effectively.

"Pakistan's commitment to eliminating terror and militancy is irrevocable. We believe that this warrants a comprehensive approach not only to deal  with violence but also its root causes.

This requires enhancing international cooperation in multiple domains," she said.
On its part, Pakistan has reached out to all countries of the world to establish mechanisms and arrangements ranging from intelligence cooperation, mutual assistance in legal and criminal matters as well as joint operations. Making a case for Pakistan as a victim of terrorism, Khar gave a statistical overview of the number of men, women and military personnel who have lost their lives to terrorism.

Khar recalled that one of Pakistan's most popular leaders Benazir Bhutto was assassinated and numerous politicians have lost  sons and fathers at the hands of terrorists, who have also attacked Pakistan's military installations, grave sites of its spiritual elders and minorities.

"Our streets are filled with armed police posts. We cannot enter our parks, or shopping centers, or churches or mosques without being searched and frisked."
In the face of such losses, Pakistan has the will to fight terrorism and is not afraid of adversity, she said.

Khar stressed the need for countries to demonstrate unity in ranks, avoid recrimination, build greater trust and bring about operational coordination in combating the menace.
"Otherwise, I am afraid only the terrorists will gain."

"Eliminating terrorism is in our national interest.We believe that our success is critical to regional and global peace and security," she said.

Pakistan's limited capacity and other constraints have not come in its way of working to realise the vision of a bright future for its people as well as those in Afghanistan and rest of the region.

She said Pakistan has actively advocated and worked for closer regional economic integration.

"We need to give hope and provide a silver lining to those who have not seen peace for three generations, and have only taken mercenarism and guns as a means of  livelihood."

Khar also expressed concerns over campaigns aimed at stigmatising Islam and Muslims.
"Islam is a religion of peace. It is important that the international community celebrate our common humanity and unity in diversity," she said

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