Pakistan’s massive military operation aimed at rooting out terrorism is in its final phase but the menace is not going to just go away unless there is peace on the other side of the border in strife-torn Afghanistan, Ambassador Maleeha Lodhi said during a talk at Harvard University.
“I think we have beaten back the dark forces of terrorism,” the Pakistani envoy told students and faculty members in a special podcast recorded at the Kennedy School as part of its programme on the Future of Diplomacy .
“We will defeat them (the terrorists) eventually, its still a work in progress but we have come a long way,’ she said calling Zarb-e-Azb the largest anti-terrorism operation anywhere in the world.
She added that in order to combat terrorists one needs to complement the operation with measures that prevent luring followers into their fold. “One lesson we learnt over the past decade and a half is that because we are dealing with a multidimensional threat we also need a toolkit which is multi-focused.”
“Law enforcement is an important dimension but so is evolving a counter-narrative to that used by the men of violence who deploy certain kinds of appeals to recruit the young and impressionable.”
Setting the regional situation in context, Ambassador Lodhi said the security challenge in the region has emerged from many prolonged conflicts. Afghanistan has been in a state of conflict for over three and a half decades while on the other side the Kashmir dispute between India and Pakistan remains unresolved.
“We in Pakistan call it (the Kashmir problem) the unfinished business of partition as a result of this unresolved dispute and other unsettled issues with India the region has seen tension conflict war and along with that have come the security challenges we face today,” the ambassador said in the special podcast.
Ambassador Lodhi briefed the audience on Pakistan s active role at the United Nations that had earned great respect for the country.
“We work of course with other countries at the United Nations which is an amazing place because the principal dynamic there is cooperative not competitive,” she said.
“In fact, no country, however, powerful can achieve anything at the United Nations on its own.”
She said multilateral diplomacy teaches something very fundamental about diplomacy itself which is unless you cooperate with others and align your interest with the interest of other countries you are not going to achieve any of your own goals either.