Minister for Interior, Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan on Thursday said security is no longer a local or a regional issue but it has global manifestations and connotation. “To win war against terrorism, there has to be an international coalition but this coalition should be based on mutual and greater understanding of regional dynamics and regional compulsions,” he said this while addressing a seminar jointly organized by National Defense University (NDU) and Royal Danish Defense College here.
The seminar, entitled “Carving Out a Vision for Brighter Tomorrow: Addressing Challenges and Opportunities for Enhanced Regional Cooperation,” was attended by a large number of diplomats and both senior civilians and army officers.
He said situation in South Asia could not be seen and understood through foreign security paradigms and foreign solutions could not address security related issues of region. The Minister said, “Tendency to label every man with a beard and every woman wearing hijab as potential terrorist should cease now.”
Chaudhry Nisar said security in today’s world was a multi- dimensional and multi-faceted issue which could not be ensured just by closing borders and pretending to feel safe. He said no solution from America or the West can be imposed on our region and vice versa. He said to win war on terrorism, the support of over one billion Muslims was essential. The West, he said, should get out of the trend of Islamophobia and blaming Islam for everything.
The Minister said the support of Islamic countries in fight against terrorism is crucial in order to win this battle of hearts and minds. He observed that Muslims have been the hardest hit and the biggest victim in ongoing fight against terrorism. With regards to Pakistan’s approach towards peace and enhancing regional cooperation, the Minister said, “Pakistan has been showing maximum urge and inclination for promoting peace and tranquility in region.”
“The key to addressing issues is engagement and those who cannot engage in dialogue have a weak case,” Ch. Nisar added. The minister observed that politics and security are two different things that need to be separated from each other. “It is very important not to mix politics with security.” “There is a tendency on part of certain countries, especially in region to mix politics with security which was the biggest irritant to bringing about healthy dialogue in region,” the Ministerpointed out.
He noted, “The internal issues, territorial disputes and internal problems should not be correlated with lack of security. That is happening in South Asia.” The Minister stressed, “Freedom movements should not be equated with terrorism.” Urging West to honour its commitments and agreements, the Minister referred to a Summit held in Washington on “Countering Violent Extremism” in February 2015, and recalled that over 60 countries participating in the moot agreed upon need that terrorism cannot be linked to any religion and there is a need to promote all inclusive policies.
Within just one year of the Summit, the action emanating from Washington banning visas for seven Muslim countries has sent a negative message across the Muslim world. Ch. Nisar asserted that cooperation means showing greater understanding of others point of view, adding “there cannot be two sets of different rules for people.”