UNITED NATIONS - Warning that the global terrorist threat has become "more pervasive", Pakistan on Thursday called on the international community to join hands to combat the menace "urgently and effectively."

Speaking in a UN Security Council debate on countering terrorism, Ambassador Maleeha Lodhi said that Pakistan had made substantial gains in its anti-terrorism drive, and rejected aspersions being cast by some about its contribution.

"Pakistan has been at the forefront of the global fight against terrorism, " the Pakistani envoy told the 15-member Council.

"We have lost tens of thousands of lives in this fight, but this has not shaken our resolve to continue this campaign until the last terrorist is eliminated from our soil."

"It is ,herefore,reprehensible that some cast aspersions about our contribution," she said, adding, "Baseless accusations only set us back and undermine our joint efforts to counter terrorism."

Maleeha Lodhi stressed the need for unity in meeting the terrorist threat,stating, "The need for all States to work together, in a coordinated and cooperative manner, to address this menace comprehensively in all its forms and manifestations, has never been as compelling as it is today."

"Today, the terrorist threat has become more pervasive and has evolved in complex and unpredictable directions, posing an even greater danger to international peace and security," the Pakistani envoy said.

A multitude of small cells comprising terrorists and violent extremists, perpetuating guerrilla-style or “lone wolf” attacks, had emerged, she stated.

Noting that the international community had finally acknowledged the need to craft preventive approaches to violent extremism, she stressed the need for addressing all its drivers -- both local and international --  in a comprehensive manner, as very little operated in isolation.

"We must deal with both external and internal dimensions and recognise the complex interplay between local and international factors to prevent violent extremism that leads to terrorism," Maleeha Lodhi said.

Stressing the need to recognise the interplay between local and international factors to prevent violent extremism that led to terrorism, Maleeha Lodhi said that the focus on prevention should not be at the expense of counter-terrorism measures. 

Describing her country’s National Action Plan, she said that Operation Zarb-e-Azb, launched in June 2014, was the largest anti-terror campaign anywhere in the world and it had produced remarkable results.

A focused campaign was also under way against terrorist sleeper cells, their supporters, sympathisers and financiers, she added.

Opening the debate, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called on member States to take more concrete steps to stop fund-raising through the smuggling of oil and gas, the illicit trade of cultural artefacts, kidnapping for ransom and donations from abroad.

He noted that more than 30,000 people from all over the world have joined Da’esh’s campaigns in Iraq and Syria, and warned that the terrorist group - also known as the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) - has shown an ability to radicalise and recruit disaffected youth, including women and girls, through strategies involving the Internet and social media.

“We must also curtail the ability to abuse and misuse the Internet and social media to radicalise and recruit young people, by identifying global and regional solutions that involve governments, private enterprise and civil society,” the Secretary General told the Security Council.