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Senior UN counter-terrorism official holds talks with officials in Pakistan

Senior UN counter-terrorism official holds talks with officials in Pakistan

The senior United Nations counter-terrorism official held meetings with senior Pakistani officials in Islamabad today covering a range of critical issues in a bid to help the country better respond to the scourge.

Assistant Secretary-General Javier Rupérez, who heads the UN Counter-Terrorism Executive Directorate (CTED), met with a broad spectrum of officials from the Foreign Ministry, Interior Ministry, Secretary of Finance, Director General Inter Services Intelligence on their efforts in counter terrorism.

Speaking to reporters, he said the dialogue has been productive and useful.

He said Pakistan has contributed significantly to the fight against terrorism, but the country also recognizes that it has a long way to go before terrorism is rooted out from its society.

Mr. Rupérez said in discussions with Pakistani officials, he encouraged them to promote passage of an anti-money laundering bill that has been sitting in Parliament for a long time and would significantly boost the country’s fight against the financing of terrorism.

Madrassa reform is another very important area, Mr. Rupérez said, noting that Pakistan has embarked on an exercise to register all the madrassas in the country and revise their curricula in order to bring them into the educational mainstream.

Pakistan had made promising efforts in preventing madrassas form becoming breeding grounds for hate and intolerance, said Mr. Rupérez, who also visited India during his trip to the region.

In reply to a question on claims by Afghan officials that terrorists are being trained in Pakistan, he stressed that the CTED is not an intelligence agency but rather looks at performances of a country in the context of UN resolutions and its mandate.

Mr. Rupérez’s delegation included representatives from the World Bank, Interpol, the World Customs Organization (WCO) and the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), based in Vienna.

On Friday, the delegation will submit provisional conclusions on all aspects of future cooperation to the Pakistani Government. These separate teams are focusing on refugee issues, aspects of border control, financial regulations, customs and port security, among other issues.

The visit follows the recent adoption by the General Assembly of a global counter-terrorism strategy for the UN. The plan underscores the important role of the CTED in strengthening dialogue between the UN and countries and relevant international and regional organizations in counter-terrorism matters.

The purpose of country visits is to monitor, on location and in practice, how Member States implement the obligations of Security Council resolution 1373, a landmark text adopted in 2001 in the wake of the September 11th attacks, as well as to evaluate the nature and level of assistance that a particular country may need in order to fulfil those obligations.

The resolution – which also established the Council’s Counter-Terrorism Committee – calls on countries to implement a number of measures to enhance their legal and institutional capacity to be in a better position to counter terrorist activities nationally, regionally and globally.

The mission to Pakistan is the eighth so far this year, coming after visits to Tanzania, The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Jordan, Malaysia, the Philippines, Mali and India.