Calling Pakistan a principal victim of terrorism, Islamabad’s Ambassador to the United Nations Maleeha Lodhi has claimed that no country did more than Pakistan to dismantle and eliminate Al-Qaeda from the region.
According to a report in Dawn, Maleeha Lodhi, in an interview to Al-Quds Al-Arabi, further said that Pakistan must get credit for its fight against terror. She added that Pakistan fought that war because it was also in its own interest.
“That doesn’t mean there is no Al-Qaeda remnant left in our part of the world but the extent to which it exists is now nothing compared to the situation that it existed 16 years ago, and so Pakistan must get credit for it,” Maleeha Lodhi said.
Advocating a political solution to the Afghanistan problem, Maleeha Lodhi pointed out that the military option has failed to bring peace to the war-torn country.
“Pakistan had managed to beat back the forces of terrorism and extremism, but the job will not be completed until the long war in Afghanistan comes to an end. Since the tragedy of 9/11, Pakistan has always advocated a political solution in Afghanistan, the military option had been tried and it had not resolved the problem.
Pakistan has consistently called for insurgents to be brought into the mainstream,” she said.
Strongly objecting efforts to link Islam to terrorism, the Pakistani Ambassador said that even the United Nations has acknowledged that terrorism cannot and should not be linked with or be associated with any religion.
“But despite that international consensus, there were vested interests in certain countries who want to tarnish Islam by equating the two. We reject this as a form of racism, as a form of discrimination, as a form of Islamophobia that is evident from time to time,” she added.
On the issue of Jammu and Kashmir, Maleeha Lodhi alleged that India’s intransigence in refusing to engage in negotiations with Pakistan for finding a peaceful solution to the UN-recognized dispute was proving to be a major stumbling block.