Oslo (Bureau Report)
A Norwegian Pakistani politician has been appointed as a member of the top European Anti-Terrorist institution “Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe” (OSCE).
Abid Qayyum Raja (42) affiliated with liberal party of Norway (Venstre) is currently serving as a member and as well one of four deputy presidents of the Norwegian parliament.
OSCE is the world’s largest security-oriented intergovernmental organization and its mandate includes assessing terrorist threats in the OSCE region and supporting member states in developing effective and human rights-based measures against terrorism, issues such as arms control, promotion of human rights, freedom of the press, and fair elections.
Norway is one of the European countries from where a number of the people had travelled to Syria for joining the terrorist organisations. There are still 40 people from Norway engaged in the fighting in Middle East.
Abid Raja is of the view that there is reason to be seriously concerned when several of these extremist can return to Europe. He looks at the fight against extremism as a common struggle for Europe.
“The work in the OSCE is particularly important because the last three years there have been around 150 terrorist plots and attacks in 15 different European countries” said the Norway’s born politician of Pakistani origin. I look forward to my way of contributing to OSCE, and I think Europe has been in a panic, and now we must be able to quickly meet these challenges.
According to some of the experts, Norway and Europe have a great challenge in order to deal with extremism. Although Raja looks forward to contributing, as he realizes that this will be a challenging and demanding job.
“I shall work in the OSCE with my expertise on integration, cross-cultural dialogue and basic values.” We must manage to transfer liberal values to new generations. Europe will not be able to succeed in the fight against extremism without full freedom of expression, religious freedom, gender equality and ethnic democracy, without participation of Muslims in the process, he emphasized.
It is important to mention that Abdul Qayyum Raja, the father of a lawyer-turned politician Abid Raja, was among the Pakistani guest workers who had migrated from Pakistan to Norway in 1970s.