Ambassadors Underscore Need for Global Partnership Against Piracy

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Pakistan’s envoy says Islamabad stood shoulder to shoulder with international community to fight terrorism including efforts to defeat piracy in international seas

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Abu Dhabi:  Pakistan’s Ambassador to UAE Jamil Ahmed Khan said Islamabad has time and again demonstrated its commitment to lead and support regional and global initiatives to combat terrorism, including the latest decision by the country’s parliament to resume terrorism cooperation with NATO and reopening of the supply lines through its land routes  by maintaining the principle of mutual respect and mutual interest.

Ambassador Khan was addressing the 2nd Ambassadors Dialogue on anti piracy, held by Quiet Diplomacy, a Gulf-based publication focusing international affairs. In his address, Ambassador Khan noted that the extensive parliamentary dialogue that sanctioned reopening supply routes for NATO through Pakistan was a tough call, answered in the interest of the global peace and security initiatives.

“The tragic incident that claimed lives of 24 Pakistani soldiers sent the entire country into a state of introspection. And after due deliberations, the entire spectrum of our leadership decided that Pakistan should move beyond the bitterness in relations, allowing further negotiation  for renewed cooperation to be the healing touch.”

He also dilated upon the need for enhanced international efforts, including the need for a comprehensive UN-led international legal framework, to act as safety valve against the incidents of piracy in international waters.

“Pakistan will continue to adhere to the arrangements led by the United Nations convention on the laws of the seas and seek to engage bilaterally and multilaterally to the benefit of the member states bearing the brunt of transnational piracy,” he added.

Referring to the latest incident involving Somali pirates abducting Pakistani sailors aboard M V Albedo vessel for ransom, Ambassador Khan said: “Who would know it better than the people of Pakistan what it means to be held hostage by the scourge of terrorism, be is fundamentalists or pirates. And I am well aware of the misery such events bring to the victims’ families whom I have had the chance to meet in Dubai recently”.

He also recounted the efforts made by the Pakistani philanthropists in raising hundreds of millions to secure the release of the abducted sailors. The ambassador maintained that paying ransom can also be taken as the sign of weakness and can potentially translate into an unending series of abductions.  

Ambassadors  from other countries also addressed the conference, reflecting on the various measures their governments were taking against the phenomenon of piracy. The notables included envoys from Kenya, Tanzania, Somalia, Italy, Sri Lanka and Seychelles.

The ambassadors agreed that piracy was taking huge toll on national economies and international trade, and, worse still, can deal a blow to the international efforts against trafficking and money laundering.

The participants agreed that concerted efforts were required to plug the institutional and capacity gaps, which prevented effective prosecutorial efforts to work as antidote to piracy.