South Asia

At UN, Pakistan calls for campaign to recover arms from terrorist groups

UNITED NATIONS — Pakistan has called for a “concerted campaign” at the United Nations to recover weapons from terrorist groups, particularly Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP).

Speaking at the U.N.’s Fourth Review Conference of the Program of Action (PoA) on Small Arms and Light Weapons (SALW) on Tuesday, Ambassador Munir Akram expressed Pakistan’s “grave concern over the acquisition and use of modern and sophisticated small arms by terrorist groups, such as the TTP.”

In a statement issued by the Pakistani mission to the U.N., Akram highlighted the “need for a concerted campaign to recover all weapons from terrorist groups like the TTP” and called for an investigation into how these groups acquired such sophisticated arms.

The Pakistani envoy asserted that it was the responsibility of U.N. member states and the U.N. itself to take measures to prevent the illicit trade, transfer, and diversion of these arms. “Terrorists and criminals do not manufacture these arms. They acquire them from illicit arms markets or receive them from entities that want to destabilize a particular region or country,” Akram emphasized.

Akram underscored how the “illicit proliferation, excessive accumulation and misuse of SALW” exacerbate conflicts, fuel terrorism, threaten peace and security, and undermine sustainable development globally. He noted that new technologies, such as unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) and drones, are “deepening challenges in combating the proliferation of increasingly lethal small arms.”

Describing the U.N. PoA and the International Tracing Instrument (ITI) as structured frameworks to address the challenges of illicit trade and trafficking of SALW, Akram reiterated Pakistan’s commitment to both tools. “We have strengthened our legislative frameworks, enhanced transfer controls, and implemented robust measures to prevent the diversion of SALW to unauthorized users,” he said.

Pointing out the limitations of a supply-side approach to tackling SALW challenges, Akram called for more strenuous efforts and resources to “resolve and end conflicts in various regions, end terrorist activities, and eliminate organized crime.”

The increase in attacks by the TTP in Pakistan over the past two years has raised alarm. Islamabad has blamed the Taliban for providing safe havens to TTP members, but the Taliban has rejected these claims, calling the issue an internal matter for the Pakistani government.