Envoy says goodbye

By Ilia Likou 12 January 2016, 12:00AM

The High Commissioner of Pakistan in Samoa, Zehra Akbari, is in the country for the last time in her official capacity.

Ms. Akbari is here to make her farewell calls to the Head of State, His Highness, Tui Atua Tupua Tamasese Efi and the Prime Minister, Tuilaepa Sa’ilele Malielegaoi. Speaking to the Samoa Observer, Ms. Akbari said Pakistan’s relationship with Samoa is growing.

“Samoa is a significant island country in the South Pacific region,” Ms Akbari said.

“The relations are warm and friendly and the two countries share commonality of views on many global issues, their diplomats work together at the United Nations and other multilateral to promote peace, security and sustainable development.”

She expressed satisfaction at the progress in bilateral relations.

“I have tried to build linkages and contacts during my tenure. Few projects are in the pipeline and I am confident my successor will pick up the threads from where I have left.”

Asked about the work of terrorists in her country, Ms. Akbari said progress is being made in efforts to stamp them out.

 “The military operation, Zarb-e-Azb, launched in June 2014, the largest anywhere in the world, has produced remarkable results,” she said. “Terrorists’ sanctuaries, command and control and infrastructure have been destroyed.” 

“Thousands have been killed or captured and the rest are on the run.”  “Simultaneously, through well-coordinated, intelligence-based law enforcement operations across Pakistan, the Government has launched a focused campaign against terrorist sleeper cells, their supporters, sympathizers and financiers.” “Following the horrendous and cowardly attack on the Army Public School in Peshawar in December 2014, the entire country united to fight the evil of terrorism.”

“Pakistan devised a comprehensive National Action Plan to fight terrorism through a multi-pronged strategy, combining military action, law enforcement operations, choking terrorist financing and countering the extremist narrative.”

“Identifying terrorism with a specific culture or group is unfair, it serves to shift responsibility.”  “We need to address the problems of political or social alienation.”

Ms. Akbari presented her letter of credence to His Highness Tui Atua in December 2014.

She holds a Master’s degree in international relations and has been with the Foreign Services of Pakistan since 1983. She has also served on Diplomatic assignments at the Pakistan Missions in Washington, Kuala Lumpur, Warsaw and Dublin.

By Ilia Likou 12 January 2016, 12:00AM

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