New York: Tackling terror demands a multi-faceted approach that goes beyond military means, President Asif Ali Zardari of Pakistan said at the General Assembly’s high-level segment today, calling on the support of the international body to address the scourge.
“Fighting it requires political will, popular mobilization and a socio-economic strategy that wins the hearts and minds of nations afflicted by it,” Mr. Zardari, the husband of former prime minister Benazir Bhutto, who was assassinated last December.
He stressed the need to generate jobs and provide education for the people, adding, “to mobilize them we have to give them hope and opportunity for the future.” Unlike those who only know about terror from what they read, “we live with it,” the President told delegates. “We do not learn about terror from reading newspapers or watching the evening news.”
The President trumpeted democracy as the only means to triumph in the struggle against extremism. He noted that his late wife “understood that democracy was not an end, but a beginning: that a starving child has no human rights; that a father who could not support his family was someone ripe for extremism.”
But he underlined that Pakistan needs the support of other nations to succeed, having contributed its military facilities, air space, intelligence and armed forces to the international community. “In our stability lies the world’s security,” Mr. Zardari said. “Better relations between Pakistan, Afghanistan and India would help create the regional environment that is more conducive to reducing militancy in our region,” he added.