APP03-05 ISLAMABAD: April 05 – Interior Minister Prof. Ahsan Iqbal addressing to a seminar on Islamabad International Counter Terrorism Forum (IICTF) organized by NACTA. APP photo by Saleem Rana

ISLAMABAD, Apr 5 (APP): Minister for Interior, Ahsan Iqbal Thursday stressed the need for systematic approach to permanently address issue of terrorism, saying this menace could not be defeated through blame games and without defusing conflicts.
“Collaboration is a way forward to defeat terrorism which is a global challenge. Where there are conflicts, the terrorism wrecks havoc so we need a systematic approach to permanently address the issue,” he said this while speaking at a plenary session of a three-day Islamabad International Counter Terrorism Forum here.
Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi attended the closing session
and address the participants. Others attending the closing ceremony included Foreign Minister, Kh. Muhammad Asif, Sindh Governor Muhammad Zubair, leader of the opposition in the Senate Sherry Rehman, political leaders and members of the diplomatic corps.
National Counter Terrorism Authority (NACTA) organized the
Forum to provide an ample opportunity to portray the country’s positive and soft image and a nation of courage, perseverance and resilience.
Ahsan Iqbal said conflict in Afghanistan and growing conflict
in Occupied Kashmir posed a serious challenge to diffuse
extremism from region and added India was fomenting conflicts and international community would have to intervene to play its due role in resolving conflicts.
The Minister said, “We need to understand causes of extremism
because it (extremism) leads to terrorism. Engagement and understanding are keys to defeat the extremism,” he said.
Ahsan Iqbal said terrorism and extremism badly affected the
globe and added Pakistan would continue its efforts against terrorism for lasting peace.
He said brave and unsung heroes of Pakistan stood united
with parliament, adding state institutions and law enforcement agencies would combat the menace.
The Minister said National Action Plan (NAP) and Operations Zarb-e-Azb and Radd-ul-Fasaad were the pragmatic measures to curb scourge of terrorism.
He said China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) project
and other initiatives for regional communication would make Pakistan a hub of trade and other financial activities which
would greatly contribute towards development of the country.
Regarding the Forum, he said, it had been organized by
NACTA to highlight endeavors and achievements of Pakistan
against terrorism and such type of forum would be organized every
year with different themes.
Ahsan Iqbal, who also had inaugurated the Forum, said
Pakistan had overcome a long and dark decades of terrorist
victimization and instead of letting detractors define its
identity, the country had turned around picture from `Victim to
Victor of Terrorism.’
He said, “We are determined to eliminate extremism from
the society in all its manifestation through adoption of
appropriate counter violent extremism strategies and
Ahsan Iqbal said, “The road to peace and stability has
been very rough and full of challenges, but I can say with pride
that our efforts have borne fruits. The incidents of terrorism have
fallen sharply since 2013 when the present government came to power.
Our resolve to fight forces of extremism and terrorism is unmatched
and will continue unabated.”
The Minister said political leadership supported NACTA in all
its endeavours to make Pakistan a country free from extremism
and violence.
He said the government had managed to reshape course of
national economy as per promise made in 2013 which was evident
from the fact that the international rating agencies were now
acknowledging Pakistan as one of the top few emerging economies
of the world, who were earlier describing it a sinking economy.
The Minister said menace of extremism had almost been
eliminated, economy witnessed rapid growth while energy crisis
also had overcome.
The Minister strongly condemned brutalities in
Occupied Jammu & Kashmir by the Indian forces and said
voice of Kashmiri people could not be suppressed through guns,
bullets and force. The Indian forces must stop bloodshed of the
innocent people.
Addressing the Forum, Foreign Minister, Kh. Muhammad Asif
said “Our success against menace of terrorism is helping us
realize vision of a democratic Pakistan.”
He said the whole nation stands united in the fight against
terrorism and terrorists are trying to undermine our sovereignty
and no country can ignore attacks on its territorial integrity.
Kh. Muhammad Asif said our forces have offered unprecedented
sacrifices to defend the motherland. He said the nation has firm resolve
to eliminate terrorism and “We will not allow terrorist to become a
threat to the country.”
One minute silence was observed on the occasion in memory of those who lost their lives in the war
against terrorism.
During last two days the Forum engaged diplomats, governmental officials, parliamentarians, politicians,
United Nation Agencies, international organizations, aid agencies, media, civil society and world community at
There were nine sessions in all, three Plenary Sessions and 12 panel discussions. A documentary,
depicting efforts of people, the government and security agencies of the country against terrorism, was also
National Security Advisor, Lt. Gen (Retd) Nasir Khan Janjua also addressed the forum on second day and
said, “Besides many sacrifices and contributions, unfortunately we are still not being acknowledged.”
He lauded NACTA’s initiative of highlighting Pakistan’s efforts in counter extremism and counter
terrorism to world through the Forum.