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5th CICA Summit: Pakistan highlights Security & Development Challenges

Addressing the 5th Summit of the Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia (CICA), Special Assistant to the PM Dr. Sania Nishtar highlighted Pakistan’s successful counterterrorism measures, and underscored the importance of regional cooperation in combatting the scourge of terrorism.

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Representing Pakistan at the 5th Summit of the Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia (CICA), held in the Tajik capital of Dushanbe, Dr. Sania Nishtar, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister, underscored Pakistan’s commitment towards fighting terrorism, and finding effective solutions to combat the challenges of security and economic development.

Special Envoy Dr. Sania Nishtar put forward Pakistan’s agenda in view of the evolving regional and international political trends, and noted that the CICA has provided an instrumental platform to help advance effective solutions for combatting challenges to peace, security and economic development.

Dr. Nishtar’s opening statement noted, “Asia is home to over half the global population. Our strength lies in our diversity and the dynamism of our people, who have transformed Asia into the world’s fastest-growing region.”

The Declaration of the Summit was based on the theme of “Shared Vision for a Secured and More Prosperous CICA Region”. This Declaration invited member states to work towards building a mutually beneficial and sustainable security paradigm across the region, alongside pursuing goals of mutual development and enhanced regional connectivity.

The Summit also underscored the urgency of devising a comprehensive regional strategy to combat the scourge of terrorism. The Summit Declaration also cautioned member states against the “politicization of the UN Security Council counter-terrorism sanctions architecture”, highlighting that such measures would only undermine the legitimacy and authority of the UNSC charter and sanctions regime.

A statement issued by the Foreign Office with regards to Pakistan’s participation noted, “Pakistan has regularly participated in CICA Summits and contributed significantly to its deliberations. Pakistan’s participation in the 5th Summit in Dushanbe is illustrative of its commitment to the realization of CICA’s vision of a peaceful, stable and prosperous Asia.”

Kashmir Right to Self Determination

The Special Envoy drew attention toward the prolonged political suppression of the Kashmiri people living under brutal Indian occupation and highlighted the use of unilateral force, coercion and threats amongst major powders, which undermines the principles of the UN Charter.

Dr. Sania Nishtar said, “The contemporary global order today remains in a state of flux. It is marked by several worrying trends and developments. On the normative front, the principles of the UN Charter are being gradually eroded. The value of multilateralism is being questioned.”

Dr. Nishtar highlighted that that the burgeoning tendency of resorting to “unilateral use of force and intervention against other states” alongside the practices of coercive measures and threats has now emerged as the “main currency in the management of inter-state disputes”.

The long fight against international terrorism has highlighted a major gap. This entails an exclusive focus of the current UN sanctions regime on Al-Qaeda, Daesh and their affiliates. There are a growing number of individuals and organizations that have carried out acts of terrorism but remain outside the present scope of UN sanctions. It is time to cast a wider net and hold them accountable under international law

She underscored, “Peace and prosperity in Asia are threatened by emerging friction between major powers and rising tensions in South, East, and West Asia.”

Highlighting the Kashmiri struggle for self-determination, the Special Envoy noted, “The legitimate struggle for self-determination of the people of Jammu and Kashmir continues to be brutally suppressed and we are grateful to President Erdogan of Turkey for speaking out today in support of the Kashmiri people calling for resolution of the long-outstanding international dispute.”

Read more: Amnesty International calls out India on violence in Kashmir

Dr. Sania reiterated Pakistan’s vision to shape a peace-driven political discourse in South Asia, which focuses on bilateral dialogue, confidence-building measures and peaceful settlement of disputes.

Pakistan’s Counterterrorism Success

Special Envoy Dr. Sania Nishtar drew attention towards Pakistan’s efforts and achievements in the fight against terrorism and stressed upon the importance of seeking international cooperation to enhance counterterrorism capacity building and initiatives.

Dr. Nishtar said, “Pakistan has executed one of the most successful counter-terrorism campaigns in the world. No country can match Pakistan’s efforts, sacrifices, and achievements in the face of this international scourge.”

Pakistan has always called for all states to comply with the provisions of the UN Charter and international law to resolve disputes and promote peace. Guided by these ideals and values, Pakistan wishes to shape political discourse and vision in South Asia, based on dialogue, confidence building and peaceful settlement of outstanding disputes

“We believe enhanced international cooperation is vital for an effective counter-terrorism strategy. We must also earnestly address the root causes of this phenomenon. It is in the interest of all States to refrain from grandstanding and politicization in order to combat terrorism effectively.”

Dr. Nishtar called to attention the need for strengthening the capacity of the UNSC counter-terrorism sanctions by accounting for organizations and individuals held responsible for terrorist activities but continue to remain outside the UN jurisdiction.

She said, “The long fight against international terrorism has highlighted a major gap. This entails an exclusive focus of the current UN sanctions regime on Al-Qaeda, Daesh and their affiliates. There are a growing number of individuals and organizations that have carried out acts of terrorism but remain outside the present scope of UN sanctions. It is time to cast a wider net and hold them accountable under international law.”

Dr. Sania Nishtar underscored Pakistan’s vision for complying with the provisions of the UN charter and urged all other states to comply with the regulations put forward by international laws while settling regional disputes.

She said, “Pakistan has always called for all states to comply with the provisions of the UN Charter and international law to resolve disputes and promote peace. Guided by these ideals and values, Pakistan wishes to shape political discourse and vision in South Asia, based on dialogue, confidence building and peaceful settlement of outstanding disputes.”

Special Assistant to the Prime Minister, Dr. Sania Nishtar concluded her address, “We will also continue to work towards the realization of a common vision of security, sustainable development and shared prosperity across the CICA region and beyond, in line with the theme of this Summit.”

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