Brushing aside misperceptions about Pakistan not doing enough to combat terrorism, Ambassador Maleeha Lodhi has said that Islamabad’s firm commitment to wipe out the scourge has brought about the destruction of many terrorist groups, including al-Qaeda.
“The decimation, for example, of Al Qaeda in our region is entirely due to Pakistan’s efforts, of course in cooperation with other countries, but fundamentally, it has been Pakistan’s effort “ Ambassador Lodhi, Permanent representative of Pakistan to the United Nations, said in an exclusive interview with Imapctmania, an online American magazine, which features thinkers and doers who make a cultural, social, and economic impact.
Responding to a question, she said Pakistan is a country, which has lost tens of thousands of lives, of military personnel, of law enforcement personnel and of civilians in the fight against terrorism.
“This is such a hot button issue at the moment, and rightly so,” the Pakistani envoy noted. “Because, as an international community, we feel threatened by the men of violence, and we witness violence all over the world, therefore it’s important for people to understand Pakistan’s contribution, commitment and sacrifices in the battle.”
Another misconception about Pakistan, she pointed out, was that it is a very a backward country.
“But this is a country, which has made extraordinary progress in having the first elected female prime minister of any Muslim nation, the first female speaker of Parliament, and the first female governor of a central bank, and much before the United States,” she said.
“We’re a young nation, but an ancient civilization,” Ambassador Lodhi said, while acknowledging that Pakistan needs to make greater efforts to project its profile.
“We come from a very old civilization, and we’re very proud of that,” she said. “I think that’s hard for us to get across sometimes, because people tend to see us as a country, which is only 70 years old rather than a civilization with roots that go back three millennia.”
In that sense Pakistan is not just a nation state but a civilisation state, she added.
She said Pakistan was now increasingly safe and secure. “Just go there and see for yourself … what we, as a nation, are all about, and how our aspirations are the same as the aspirations of the American people. We aspire to the same things as you do.