Press Coverage

Dr. Maliha Lodhi defends Pakistan’s achievements at Securing Asia Counter Terror Summit

Jul 02, 2012 Publisher: The Lahore Times (Pakistan)

Dr Maliha Lodhi, Pakistan’s former Ambassador to the UK and the USA, and prominent academic, spoke out strongly at the Securing Asia 2012 Summit, in defence of Pakistan’s achievements in the struggle against terrorism. She quantified the great sacrifices made by the Pakistani people and military forces, with 35,000 people killed in terror related incidents since 2001 and 5000 security personnel, as well and an estimated $68 billion of damages to the economic sector, and cited the great gains made in the area of counter-terror by the armed forces. “For all the current demonization of Pakistan in the western media, the country’s security forces have over the past decade helped to eliminate the entire first and second tier of the Al Qaeda leadership, and contributed significantly to degrading the organization. Thousands of terrorists belonging to the Al Qaeda syndicate have been eliminated or apprehended and 28 international networks neutralised.”

She rejected the “alarmist paradigm prevailing outside the country that Pakistan is about to go over the edge, to implode or collapse….Pakistan’s problems are soluble and its systemic challenges can be overcome – the resilience of the Pakistani people had several time in the past helped the country meet formidable challenges.” But she also asserted that “….only Pakistani solutions to Pakistani problems, applied by Pakistanis themselves can extricate the country from a state of perpetual crisis.”

Her message of the positive gains however was constrained by a warning about the future of Pakistan in the light of the Western exit strategy from Afghanistan, which she warned could undo all the gains made in countering terrorism if Afghanistan again “descended into chaos and civil war.”

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