VALLETTA: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, while speaking at the Retreat Session of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM), on the topic ‘Violent Extremism and Radicalization’, said that Pakistan strongly condemns terrorist activities whether committed by individuals, groups or states resulting in violence or threat of violence. No cause can justify taking lives of innocent people, he stated.

The Prime Minister underlined that Pakistan has suffered the most due to terrorism. The brutal inhuman attack on innocent school children in Peshawar last year is a reminder of the enormous sacrifices of the people of Pakistan in the fight against terrorism.

Briefing the participants about the positive results achieved in the past two years of counter terrorism campaign, the Prime Minister underscored that success owes to a comprehensive, all-out law enforcement action by the Government. Terrorists are on the run, and their infrastructure decimated. The Prime Minister emphasized that we succeeded in defeating the extremist mindset by developing a national consensus against terrorism.

The Prime Minister said that we have learnt through experience that military action or use of force alone cannot address the threat posed by terrorism and extremism. A comprehensive approach is required to tackle this global problem. Pakistan has, therefore, formulated a comprehensive National Action Plan, which envisages developing a national narrative to counter violence, mainstreaming seminaries, preventing financing of terrorism, reform in criminal justice system, oversight over internet and media, and creating a dedicated counter terrorism force.

The Prime Minister highlighted that Pakistan is also cooperating with international community to deal with terrorism and extremism. We fully implement UN Security Council Sanctions regimes against terrorism and support international efforts to counter the threat posed by ISIL, he added.

The Retreat Session provides the leaders of the Commonwealth an informal atmosphere for exchange of views.