Pakistan’s United Nations Ambassador Maleeha Lodhi called for an effective ‘preventive strategy’ to deal with violent extremism while stating that the rise of ‘Islamophobia’ in the West had fuelled the process of radicalisation.
According to the Dawn, Lodhi made the statement while participating in the General Assembly debate on the recently announced UN Secretary General’s Plan of Action to Prevent Violent Extremism “Economic deprivation, political injustice, social exclusion and marginalisation of people need to be addressed not only in the local context but also in the wider international context,” she said.
“The international community, in particular the United Nations, already has a responsibility to address these issues. Doing so, diligently, will also address the drivers of violent extremism and the conditions conducive to terrorism,” Lodhi added.
Asserting that the rise of ‘Islamophobia’ in the West had fuelled the process of radicalisation, she accused ‘xenophobic politicians’ of trying to build their political strength by spreading fear and deliberate mischaracterisation of people of other faiths.
“This has so far gone unchecked and unfortunately unprincipled, xenophobic politicians have sought to build their political fortunes by spreading fear and deliberate mischaracterisation of people of other faiths or culture,” Lodhi said.
She stated that Pakistan was grateful to note that the international community was finally acknowledging the need to go beyond security and military-centred counter-terrorism measures and adopt a more comprehensive approach. “Pakistan has long advocated this so that the underlying factors that drive terrorist violence are addressed in their entirety,” Lodhi said.
Deploring any attempt to associate extremism and terrorism with any country, race, religion, she urged the international community to ensure that this was fully reflected in their national and international actions.