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February 27, 2020

CM Murad Ali Shah launches ‘Pakistan’s Action to Counter Terrorism’

Karachi

February 27, 2020

Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah has said that terrorism is a global issue and the terrorists have no boundaries, no nationality and no religion and their main objective is to work against humanity.

“Now the international community as a whole has united against terrorism and has fought successful battles against them [terrorists], but even today their threat to innocent lives is still simmering; therefore, our strategy to combat terrorism should be multidimensional, right from educating our new generation about the fruits of social values, coexistence and interfaith harmony and plural society,” he said while speaking at the launch ceremony of a programme titled ‘Pakistan’s Action to Counter Terrorism’ (PACT), at a hotel in Karachi on Wednesday.

The launch ceremony was attended by EU Ambassador Androulla Kaminara, Home Secretary Usman Chachar and others.

The chief minister said terrorism was a global issue and it knew no international boundaries. “Terrorism emerges in one particular region and leaves adverse effects around the world. It negatively impacts the human life, health, properties, peace and stability.”

Shah said that in Pakistan, terrorists were getting discouraged due to the resolve and resilience of the Pakistani nation. “The challenges warrant a focused joint response by the Pakistani law enforcement agencies and civil society,” he said.

He added that as part of Pakistan’s global commitment to ensure peace and security, the government had devised a National Action Plan in close partnership with all the federal and provincial stakeholders. “Approved by parliament, the National Action Plan combines foreign and domestic policy initiatives aimed to detect, pursue and prosecute terrorist organisations while providing protection to the vulnerable across the country.”

He said the National Action Plan was considered a well-structured and coordinated state response against terrorism, which had received unprecedented levels of support and cooperation from across the country’s political spectrum. “Sindh has developed a Rule of Law Roadmap under which preventing and countering terrorism is an important pillar,” he said.

The chief minister thanked the dedicated law enforcement personnel, civil society and most importantly the Pakistani people, saying that the Operations Zarb-e-Azab, which focused on fighting terrorism, and Rad-ul-Fasaad, which was against violent extremism, had started bearing fruits. “These strategic initiatives by the Government of Pakistan are aimed at ensuring stability and better future, while the country stands on the road to economic growth and development through the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor.”

He added that these comprehensive counter-terrorism initiatives of Pakistan to effectively eliminate terrorism and extremism were being well-recognised globally.

He said the secretary general of the United Nations, Antonio Guterres, during his recent visit, lauded Pakistan’s efforts and journey from terrorism to tourism and called for recognising and appreciating it.

The chief minister thanked all law enforcement agencies for the remarkable dedication and immense sacrifices for turning the tide and for moving from terrorism to tourism.

He reaffirmed the political will of his government for working together with national and international partners to effectively prevent and counter terrorism. “We look forward to continuing with the same resolve and resilience, with its envisaged contributory effects on counterterrorism in the region and beyond,” he said. “We are closely interacting with the European Union, United Nations and other international partners, in pursuance of our common goals and objectives.”

Shah said that the PACT project, which they had launched on Wednesday, would contribute towards a paradigm shift and deliver support to all stakeholders in Sindh, including police, prosecution and judiciary while improving information-sharing with federal entities such as NACTA.

Concluding his speech, Shah thanked European Union Ambassador Androulla Kaminara for their financial support in making this project possible and to the UNODC for their hard work in bringing this project together in consultation with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and NACTA.

He said that we, on our part, look forward to further strengthening our response to effectively overcome the current and emerging threats posed by terrorism, through this project.

EU envoy meets CM

EU Ambassador Androulla Kaminara called on Chief Minister Shah at the CM House. In the meeting, they discussed various issues, including human rights, investment opportunities in Sindh and the Sindh government efforts to reduce poverty in rural areas.

The chief minister said that in order to conserve irrigation water, his government had started canal lining so that water could reach tail-end areas. “Proper distribution of water and support to the growers, particularly the small ones, would help improve the rural economy,” he said.

Shah said his government had done a good job in installation of renewable energy projects. “We have a vast wind corridor with a potential of 50,000 megawatts power generation, but we are hardly generating 1,100 megawatts,” he said.

The visiting ambassador assured the chief minister that EU investors and experts would come over to support Sindh to overcome its power deficit. The chief minister said his government had made necessary legislation to protect human rights. “We have enacted the prohibition of child marriage and fixed the minimum age to marry at 18 and we have also made forced conversion law in which nobody could be forced to change the religion,” he said.

The EU ambassador appreciated the Sindh government’s efforts and assured it of support for the promotion of education, particularly of girls, and health facilities in the province. The chief minister presented an ajrak and other souvenirs to the visiting diplomat.