ISLAMABAD – EU and Pakistani counter-terrorism experts concluded three days of talks in Islamabad on Friday with a pledge to deepen cooperation and tackle the radicalization that breeds terrorism.
The growing phenomenon of radicalization needed to be countered anywhere it takes place, EU Counter-Terrorism Coordinator Gijs de Vries told Pakistani counterparts, stressing the value of bilateral ties.
“Pakistan is a moderate and modern Muslim country and has a very important role to play in the world, especially at a time when there are so many misperceptions,” the EU official was quoted as saying in a statement released by the Pakistani Foreign
He expressed appreciation of the cooperation extended by Pakistan to many EU countries in counter-terrorism. Acknowledging Islamabad’s efforts towards curbing terrorism at home, he said Pakistan had also been its victim for a long time.
In turn, the Pakistani side urged the EU to take a frank look at problems in the union contributing to the growth of radicalization.
The European Union causes radicalization! Bad dhimmis!
“The EU needs to look within itself to counter discrimination, Islamophobia and xenophobia,” the statement said.
Mounting examples of these ills had been documented in the recent comprehensive report of the European Union Monitoring Centre (EUMC), it noted.
The EU also needed to take action against terrorists and their supporters who were residing in member states and were targeting Pakistan.
The Pakistani officials also stressed the need to focus on socio-economic conditions in the potential countries as a root cause of terrorism.
De Vries assured that Pakistan’s concerns would be conveyed to the EU and its member countries.
Pakistan has been under increasing pressure from foreign governments to step up operations against Taliban, al-Qaeda and other militants in its tribal areas by Afghanistan.
Emphasizing the resources his government has committed to the task, President Pervez Musharraf this month said that fighting terrorism was a joint challenge and Pakistan would no longer be a scapegoat for international failings.