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August 22, 2017

Counter-terrorism narrative and future discourse discussed at a seminar

Islamabad

 
August 22, 2017

Islamabad: The Centre for Global & Strategic Studies (CGSS) organised a seminar on ‘Pakistan’s Counter Terrorism Narrative and Future Discourse’ on Monday at Islamabad Club, says a press release.

The Centre for Global & Strategic Studies (CGSS) arranged a seminar on ‘Pakistan’s Counter Terrorism Narrative and Future Discourse.’ About 140 people including the senior members of CGSS Advisory Board, government representatives, armed forces officers, diplomats and others attended the seminar.

The guest speakers included Cesar Guedes- country representative of United Nations Office of Drugs and Crime Prevention (UNODC), Ahmer Bilal Soofi- former federal law minister, Lieutenant General (r) Haroon Aslam HI(M) and  Mahboob Qadir Shah (former judge), Chairman Reforms Committee on Organised Crime Preventions, PM Secretariat. Lieutenant General (r) Muhammad Zahir Ul Islam HI(M), chairman CGSS graced the occasion while Major General (r) Syed Khalid Amir Jaffery HI(M), president CGSS moderated the event.

The aim and focus of the seminar was to analyse in detail the national counter-terrorism narrative of Pakistan and the rational of fighting terrorism and why it is necessary to fight the menace of terror and what dangers it entails for national survival if not properly tackled as it poses biggest threat to the economic, social, political development of the country.

The country is facing this menace for over a decade in which more than 50,000 people, both civilians and security personnel, have been killed besides an economic loss of $100 billion.

Lt. Gen (r) Muhammad Zahir Ul Islam HI(M), Chairman CGSS, in his opening remarks, stated that Pakistan and its regional neighbours have been fighting this menace for since over a decade and a half. Security threats and terrorism has now become a global phenomenon and the west is blaming the east whereas the east is blaming the west.

Cesar Guedes highlighted the role of UNODC in Pakistan and gave a brief introduction of its functioning. The sources of financing terrorist activities are believed to be from narcotics trade.

Ahmer Bilal Soofi gave an overview of counter terrorism narrative from a legal perspective. According to him, Pakistan has handed the matter rationally. On the other hand, the failure of UN is that the organisation couldn’t translate the resolution document into the four local languages mostly spoken in the country.  The solution is to give exceptional licence to the Army and Law Enforcement Agencies (LEAs) to enable them to interrogate the terrorist. Any disloyalty towards the state of Pakistan is the violation of Article 5 of the Constitution of Pakistan.  

Lieutenant General (r) Haroon Aslam HI(M) stated that the reported casualties have been over 6,000, in which Pakistan has lost more security forces’ personnel in fighting violent extremism. The military efforts against extremist elements by Pakistan have gradually become effective but demands more at the same time as the challenges posed by the radical forces have become difficult to control. Adding further, the speculated presence of Islamic States (IS) on Pak-Afghan border, their efforts to infiltrate through and their support by the international community is also a matter of concern for Pakistan.

The moderator of the session Major General Syed Khalid Amir Jaffery stated that operations conducted under the National Action Plan have also proven to be the right strategy in the direction of culminating terrorism. Due credit must be extended to those men in operations, who have made sacrifices to keep the country sustainable.

The seminar was concluded with various policy recommendations.