Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari on Friday urged the international community to make protection and promotion of the rights of victims of terrorism a basic tenant of global efforts to promote peace and security.
In his address at the high-level segment of the first United Nations Global Congress of Victims of Terrorism, the foreign minister called on the international community to develop a victim-centric approach while addressing the challenges faced in conflict zones.
The foreign minister expressed solidarity with the victims of terrorism all over the world. He paid special homage to the oppressed people of Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK) and Palestine and emphasized the need to counter state terrorism, especially in cases of foreign occupation.
Highlighting the sacrifices made by Pakistan in the fight against terrorism, the foreign minister underscored that Pakistan was one of the worst victims of terrorism, with over 80,000 causalities and economic losses exceeding $150 billion.
The foreign minister said that Pakistan condemned terrorism in all its forms and manifestations, including Islamophobic; racially and ethnically motivated; and state-sponsored terrorism.
He stressed the need for developing a consensus definition of terrorism by taking into account new and emerging threats. He emphasised that terrorism could only be eradicated by addressing its root causes and urged the international community to look beyond their narrow political interests and geopolitical agendas to completely eradicate this menace.
Criticising the selective approach adopted by some countries, the foreign minister underscored that tolerance for terrorism must not be a function of countries’ foreign or domestic politics. This, he stressed, was the biggest injustice to the victims of terrorism.
The foreign minister also noted the urgent need for continuing international cooperation to fight this global problem without any prejudice or preconceived notions against any particular religion, race, civilisation or country.
The Global Congress is a two-day high-level event that is being organised by the UN Office of Counter-Terrorism (UNOCT). The objective of the congress is to raise awareness about the rights and needs of victims of terrorism and promote dialogue on the issue.