ISTANBUL, 7 June 2012: Foreign Minister of Pakistan H.E. Ms Hina Rabbani Khar headed Pakistan delegation to the Ministerial Meeting of the Global Counter Terrorism Forum (GCTF) held here today. In her statement, she said Pakistan alongwith its partners is working to tackle the issue of global terrorism. The reall challenge is to win the hearts and minds of people to address the issue in a comprehensive way. The democratic government of Pakistan is working hard to strengthen the criminal justice system. Following is the complete text of her speech"
Foreign Minister Davutoglu,
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton,
Fellow Foreign Ministers,
Ladies and Gentlemen
Let me first thank both the co-Chairs for convening the GCTF meeting in this most wonderful city of cities, and for their very pertinent opening remarks. I would also like to thank the Government and brotherly people of Turkey for making excellent arrangements for the meeting and the warm welcome and hospitality extended to us.
Since the launching of the Forum in New York last September, GCTF’s activities have covered considerable ground in both regional and thematic working groups. The member countries have shared information on good practices in thematic areas like criminal justice and rule of law as well as for the rehabilitation and reintegration of offenders of violent extremism. The Rabat Memorandum on Good Practices for Effective Counter-terrorism Practice in Criminal Justice Sector, and the Rome Good Practices for Rehabilitation and Reintegration of Violent Extremist Offenders, are two important steps in our efforts to effectively counter violent extremism and terrorism.
As one of the most affected country by terrorism, Pakistan is making every possible effort to root out this scourge from our society. We are working with our partners for strengthening the criminal justice system, especially the investigation and prosecution sides. We have instituted programmes for capacity building of investigators and prosecutors; securing crime scene, collecting evidence, upgrading forensic laboratories; improving prison management system and expanding de-radicalization programmes. We are also working on how intelligence inputs could be converted into evidence which can withstand judicial scrutiny.
We believe that in the struggle against violent extremism and terrorism, the real battle is for winning the hearts and minds of the affected people, particularly the youth who are more susceptible to distorted ideologies. We also need to address conditions that engender feelings of helplessness and deprivation among the people. Indeed it is imperative to give a message of hope to misguided individuals to win them back into the national mainstreams. This would need developing of an effective counter narrative.
To this end, we are evolving a robust narrative to counter the misleading agenda of violent extremists. We believe that education for all and creating economic opportunities for young people are most effective antidotes against spread of extremist ideologies. Accordingly, after the Swat operation, we launched a de-radicalization project known as “Sabaoon.” The success of this project gives us the confidence to launch more such projects. We, therefore, have started developing a database of people who underwent military training during the Afghan jihad and later, with a view to imparting vocational training in various trades to enable them to re-integrate into the society as productive members. Already, more than 250 individuals have completed training and another 48 are still in the vocational training institutes. Perhaps, the most important aspect of this de-radicalization project is to ensure sustainable employability of reformed individuals.
In this backdrop, we warmly welcome the gesture from the Government of the United Arab Emirates to establish the Center of Excellence for Countering Violent Extremism (CVE) in Abu Dhabi. We look forward to its formal launching in October this year. Pakistan would be happy to extend all possible assistance to make the centre a real success.
Our emphasis on rule of law and strengthening criminal justice system flows from the belief that fair prosecution and conviction of terrorists in the court of law would be more effective than eliminating them through innovative means as it has the potential to sow seeds of further extremism.
The sense of ownership that a democratic dispensation offers should be strengthened to help neutralize the violent narrative of extremists and terrorists. On its part, the democratic government in Pakistan would continue to closely work with the international community to create a world free from bigotry, extremism and terrorism.
I thank you all.