The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) Resolution 1373 was adopted unanimously on 28 September 2001, as a counter-terrorism measure passed following the 11 September 2001 terrorist attacks in the United States. This one incident completely altered the trajectory of the international law. The resolution was adopted under Chapter VII of the United Nations Charter, and is therefore binding on all UN member states. Chapter VII of the United Nations Charter sets out the UN Security Council’s powers to maintain peace. It allows the Council to “determine the existence of any threat to the peace, breach of the peace, or act of aggression” and to take military and nonmilitary action to “restore international peace and security”. Resolution 1373 was a trail blazer where the UNSC necessitated this particular resolution to be observed by every single member state, paralleled to previous other resolutions where the duty to comply was voluntary to the extent of signing the international treaty. This resolutions brought several critical changes in the hitherto, slowly evolving law on terrorism. They, for example, de-linked the “act” of terrorist attack from its “cause”. From now onwards, if an act was to be viewed as terrorism then no cause would justify it. The state responsibility under taken by being a member to the United Nation had to be fulfilled to have an evolution in the world peace.

Pakistan is one of the 193 member states to the UN Charter. Pakistan is under an obligation to make a headway by working towards reaching the goals set out by 1373, the extent to which it did so needs to be evaluated. Pakistan’s state responsibility under UNSC 1373 paragraph 3 (6) is “to monitor implementation of this resolution, with the assistance of appropriate expertise, and calls upon all States to report to the Committee, according to a timetable to be proposed by the Committee, on the steps they have taken to implement this resolution.” This paragraph sets out an exceedingly significant obligation, if only one can appreciate the connotations of submitting a report to the committee.

The website of Counter-Terrorism Committee (CTC- a subsidiary body of UNSC) has published every country’s respective report on the website. The last report produced by Pakistan was in 2005, as stated by the website. The website has further affirmed its decision, from 2005 onwards state reports will not be available online. As a citizen of the country like Pakistan, who is predominantly in limelight for all the unfortunate reasons, one might want to have a keen insight to such a report as its contents would be authentic. Also the fact that the published report comprises of the efforts made by the country to counter terrorism actually benefits the country’s image to be perceived as stable by other countries. For now, assuming that Pakistan’s last report to the committee was published in 2005, what is preventing Pakistan from preparing a further report under 1373 considering the fact that the Government and the army undertook serious measures to counter-terrorism throughout the territories of Pakistan?

Take for instance Operation Zarb-e-azab. With the full support of political Government, the Pakistan military launched a full-scale military offence Zarb-e-Azab on 15th June 2014 after a terrorist attack on Jinnah Airport Karachi. It all originated with the staunch determination to wipe out hotbeds of militants in North Waziristan Agency (NWA) that is a strategically important agency in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) bordering Afghanistan. The success story of this operation would have been worth putting down in the report where the Global terrorism index (GTI) 2015, evaluated the impact of terrorism on global community. The report conceded success of Zarb-e-Azb and stated “Pakistan was the only country in the ten most impacted countries that saw a decline in deaths and accordingly it dropped from third to fourth.”

The commitment of defeating terrorism under 1373 was redoubled upon the Peshawar School Massacre in 2014 that took away lives of 141 innocent children. Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) claimed its responsibility; the group primarily consisted of Pashtuns descendants from Afghanistan.

The report under 1373 can also include the establishing of Military courts under the 21st amendment to the Pakistani Constitution. The Amendment provided a constitutional cover to the military courts that were established in the country for speedy trials of the terrorists.  However one cannot overlook the disadvantages of such a constitutional amendment as it provides a duplicate system of justice whereas existing criminal justice system should be well resourced to handle prosecution of all kinds of terrorists and enemies of state.

As a responsible state Pakistan must submit its report as an evidence under 1373 to demonstrate the efforts it has made to counter terrorism. Including its complete detail about those who laid down their lives during defying terrorism, which include military personnel, police officers and civilians.