Pakistan's successful de-radicalisation campaign for counter extremism: Sartaj Aziz

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Pakistan's successful de-radicalisation campaign for counter extremism: Sartaj Aziz

ISLAMABAD: (APP) Terming terrorism and violent extremism "a global phenomena", Advisor to the Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz Tuesday said the international community needed greater coordination and deeper dialogue to tackle the threat.

"It is equally important to address the root causes of terrorism," he said while addressing the 23rd ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) Ministerial Meeting held at Vientiane, Lao People's Democratic Republic.

He said,"Terrorism and violent extremism are a global phenomena.

They cannot and should not be associated with any religion, nationality, civilization or ethnic group."

The Advisor said,"We are living in challenging times. Formidable political and security challenges confront us around the globe. As we grapple with the challenges, it is becoming increasingly clear that we can address them more effectively through joint and collective efforts. Terrorism is one of the most formidable challenge we face today."

He said the recent wave of terrorism, stretching from the US to Europe to Asia, reminded them that the menace was alive and becoming even more dangerous.

"These attacks mark an escalation and shift in tactics of the terrorists. The menace is taking new shapes and virulent forms, like self-radicalization and lone wolf attacks, that are hard to detect in advance," he added.

Sartaj Aziz said as the international community watched with alarm, there was a growing apprehension that the situation might become more serious in the coming months.

Pakistan, he said, had been one of the most serious victims of terrorism in the last decade. "We have lost thousands of precious lives. Even our school going children were not spared by terrorists.

"Nevertheless, in the past three years we have launched a very determined and successful campaign against terrorism."

He said the comprehensive military operation Zarb-e-Azb against all terrorist groups had been a remarkable success.

It had been complemented by a National Action Plan to counter violent extremism through a programme of de radicalization.

"We are ready to share our counterterrorism experience with ARF Members," Sartaj Aziz added.

The Advisor on Foreign Affairs said Pakistan wanted to pursue its vision of peaceful neighbourhood and was committed to friendly relations with all its neighbours.

"Pakistan is willing to engage in a sustained, structured and result-oriented comprehensive dialogue process with India to resolve all outstanding issues, including the Jammu and Kashmir dispute," he added.

He said Pakistan was deeply concerned at the recent killing of innocent Kashmiris by Indian security forces. "We call upon the international community to raise its voice against human rights violations in Indian Occupied Kashmir," he added.