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National Inaction Plan?

RoadRunner401

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How selective interest and short-term fixes plague Pakistan's anti-terror fight

The charge sheet against NAP
When existential threats are met with selective interest and short-term fixes, the outcomes are bound to be contentious.

PESHAWAR: On December 24, 2014 — a week after terrorist struck and killed 144 students and staff members at the Army Public School in Peshawar — in a televised address to the nation, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif announced a comprehensive strategy to defeat what many had come to believe was an existential threat to Pakistan.

Sharif called the 20-point National Action Plan (NAP) that had come about after two days of marathon meetings of heads of parliamentary parties, a ‘defining moment’ in the fight against terrorism.

“A line has been drawn,” a sombre Prime Minister told the nation. “On one side are coward terrorists and on the other side stands the whole nation.”

NAP provided for the execution of convicted terrorists, establishment of military-led speedy trial courts, action against armed militias and the strengthening and activation of the National Counter Terrorism Authority (Nacta).

It also envisaged countering hate speech and extremist material, choking financing for terrorist and terrorist organisations, ensuring that proscribed organisations and individuals do not re-emerge, establishing a counter-terrorism force and taking steps against religious persecution.

The plan also included steps for the registration and regulation of seminaries, a ban on the glorification of terrorists in the media, Fata reforms, dismantling of the communication networks of terrorists, measures against abuse of the internet and social media for terrorism, reversing the trend of militancy, a Karachi operation to end lawlessness and to deny space to militants and extremism.

Besides, and most importantly, NAP called for steps to reconcile the dissident Baloch, ending sectarian terrorism, repatriation of Afghan refugees and revamping of the criminal justice system.

To ensure that work was taken in hand immediately and concurrently in a speedy and effective manner, the government also constituted various committees, 18 of which were to be headed by Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan.

Twenty months after it was announced with great fanfare, most of the 20 points of the National Action Plan to counter terrorism have seen very little progress.
Progress on NAP, however, has been uneven and unsatisfactory and, in some cases, extremely slow — a fact also borne out by a public near-rebuke of the government by the military establishment.

The lack of interest on the part of the political leadership in overseeing progress on NAP was evident from the fact that Prime Minister Sharif convened a meeting of the civil and military top brass only 19 months after NAP was announced to review the matter and that too, only after the Quetta bombing that left 50 lawyers dead and caused public outcry and anger.

Among the issues that continue to show a lack of progress are the choking of financing for terrorist and terrorist organisations, officials associated with the process say.

Led by Finance Minister Ishaq Dar, the committee tasked with the goal includes Governor State Bank of Pakistan, Chairman FBR, DG FIA, Secretary Finance and DG ISI but has failed to produce any tangible results without any legal and constitutional framework.

Even the half-hearted attempt to close down Peshawar’s main currency exchange market — known for its hundi and hawala business — after persistent demands by intelligence agencies at Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s Apex Committee meetings, ran into legal problems. The market has had to be re-opened soon afterwards.


Little wonder then that the demand for the American greenback in Peshawar is higher than anywhere else in the country, pushing the rate of the dollar up in the provincial capital much above elsewhere in Pakistan.

The re-emergence of proscribed organisations and individuals is perhaps one of the most contentious issues. Headed by the Minister for Interior, the committee that was to suggest steps to ensure that proscribed organisations and individuals did not re-emerge under different names did not achieve much progress either.

Fata Reforms did show some progress. A committee led by the adviser to the PM on Foreign Affairs, Sartaj Aziz, has completed its task and has prepared a 51-page report recommending Fata’s merger with KP.

It has suggested a five-year transition period, allowing the government to undertake legal and administrative reforms, including scrapping the British-era Frontier Crimes Regulations, coupled with massive infrastructure development work to mainstream the area.

The reform package awaited the PM’s post-surgery return from London and has had to wait to get an appointment with him for a final presentation.

Federal officials say that the PM would not only have to approve the reform package and announce it but would also have to make the resources available to set Fata on the course to be amalgamated with mainstream Pakistan.

The repatriation of Afghan refugees is also one of the key issues which have seen slow progress

Pakistan has refused to grant further extension to the millions of documented and undocumented Afghan refugees, making it clear to Afghanistan and United Nations High Commission for Refugees, that it would not extend the December 31, 2016, deadline for the refugees to return to their homeland.

With just four months left for the expiry of the umpteenth deadline, and while there has been a somewhat unprecedented uptick in the number of refugees going back to their country, there still does not seem to be any coordinated plan to streamline, speed up and encourage the millions of still-sceptical refugees to return home.

But perhaps the most difficult and complex issue that has seen little or no tangible progress is the reconciliation process in Baluchistan. The process did kindle some hope when the former Balochistan Chief Minister, Abdul Malik met with dissident Baloch leaders in self-exile in Europe.

The initiative did not make any headway, however, apparently due to the insistence by dissident Baloch leaders that they would only speak to the military establishment. In their view, the civilian leadership lacked the necessary authority and mandate. The political process is stalemated due to a lack of political and strategic direction.

Still, government officials say, substantial progress could be made toward the reconciliation process if concerted and cohesive efforts are made to bring in hundreds of fighters holed up in the mountains, commonly known as Feraris in Balochistan, willing to surrender to the authorities.

The process of the registration and regulation of madressahs also did not make any headway in the face of stiff resistance from religio-political parties and religious bodies and the lack of consistent efforts by the federal government to coordinate the efforts with the provinces.

It is, however, the government’s failure to provide the necessary financial, legal and administrative authority to strengthen Nacta that has drawn the most criticism from almost all political parties. Government officials insist that while strengthening Nacta is essential to combat terrorism, it is not the be-all and end-all institution to fight off the menace on its own.

As one official sums up: “Leaving it to and depending on one state institution to fight the permeated cancer is erroneous. Nacta plays an important role but the kind of problem we are in requires all state institutions, federal and provincial governments to work together more closely and more effectively. It is a process and a long haul but you can’t work in fits and starts.”

The writer is Dawn’s Editor (KP)

Published in Dawn, Sunday Magazine, August 28th, 2016
 

R Wing

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1.) Regulation of madrassas and their curriculum

2.) Regulation of khutbaz and their content (must be State-controlled only)

3.) Promotion of examples of tolerance from Islamic history

Without de-radicalization, you can kill as many pawns of these terror groups you want --- they'll have an endless supply.
 

Areesh

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NAP is being implemented even though halfheartedly.

The case of Quetta is different. My country has stopped caring about Quetta long ago.
 

Awan68

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1.) Regulation of madrassas and their curriculum

2.) Regulation of khutbaz and their content (must be State-controlled only)

3.) Promotion of examples of tolerance from Islamic history

Without de-radicalization, you can kill as many pawns of these terror groups you want --- they'll have an endless supply.
We are still caught in the same web created by our enemies, buddy it wasnt islamic, it never was, just mercaneries and dollars, regulation of madrassas yes but silently cause we musnt give the impression to the world that islam has anything to do with it cause that is what they want, that is why the started this mess after 9/11, the went after our ideology that is islam, should we let them succeed?
 

R Wing

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We are still caught in the same web created by our enemies, buddy it wasnt islamic, it never was, just mercaneries and dollars, regulation of madrassas yes but silently cause we musnt give the impression to the world that islam has anything to do with it cause that is what they want, that is why the started this mess after 9/11, the went after our ideology that is islam, should we let them succeed?
I see what you're saying. But if they are funding a warped interpretation of Islam, we should counter it, both publicly and covertly. We are not saying "Islam is the problem" --- just that "these people claiming to be Muslims (ISIS etc) are actually doing everything that is opposite to what the religion commands." We need to expose these b*stards.
 

Awan68

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I see what you're saying. But if they are funding a warped interpretation of Islam, we should counter it, both publicly and covertly. We are not saying "Islam is the problem" --- just that "these people claiming to be Muslims (ISIS etc) are actually doing everything that is opposite to what the religion commands." We need to expose these b*stards.
No interpretation of islam can lead to this we need to call it what it is, i've always said that we are lacking behind in the info wars and that is what matters, they(nato,india etc) never believed that insurgencies like ttp or bla could topple the state of pakistan, thier true objective was to target islamic ideology in the minds of muslims of pakistan, sow doubt into our minds, make us abandon the way of true jihad and many other basic islamic principles, the only way across the islamic nuke is to take the islamic out of the nuke and then they wont have a problem with us, u see what im implying...
 

R Wing

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No interpretation of islam can lead to this we need to call it what it is, i've always said that we are lacking behind in the info wars and that is what matters, they(nato,india etc) never believed that insurgencies like ttp or bla could topple the state of pakistan, thier true objective was to target islamic ideology in the minds of muslims of pakistan, sow doubt into our minds, make us abandon the way of true jihad and many other basic islamic principles, the only way across the islamic nuke is to take the islamic out of the nuke and then they wont have a problem with us, u see what im implying...
I think we are making the same point using a slightly different approach. I agree that they are targeting the true essence of Islam by selectively taking verses and Hadiths out of context and interpreting them in the most extreme, warped and radical way possible. We need to counter this through effective psy ops / info wars.
 

newb3e

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1.) Regulation of madrassas and their curriculum

2.) Regulation of khutbaz and their content (must be State-controlled only)

3.) Promotion of examples of tolerance from Islamic history

Without de-radicalization, you can kill as many pawns of these terror groups you want --- they'll have an endless supply.
how about army growing a pair and prosecute who ever is involved in corruption be it a chaprasi or leader of big political party getting money back and invest it in Pakistan give jobs and prosperity to everyone?
 

Zibago

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NAP is being implemented even though halfheartedly.

The case of Quetta is different. My country has stopped caring about Quetta long ago.
The security in Quetta police centre was poor in Islamabad you see armed guards everywhere we need to improve Quetta,s first line of defence i.e the police and its infrastructure
 

Awan68

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I think we are making the same point using a slightly different approach. I agree that they are targeting the true essence of Islam by selectively taking verses and Hadiths out of context and interpreting them in the most extreme, warped and radical way possible. We need to counter this through effective psy ops / info wars.
I agree
 

SBD-3

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The problem is promotion of private Jihad as a state's instrument of foreign policy. We have given and continue to give space to groups who have snatched the authority from the state to declare Jihad and handed them over to religious militias and groups. These madrissahs were allowed to breed uncontrolled because the provided the raw material for "Jihad for interests" policy. Now you have so many of them that you just can't roll them back so there's every chance that one or two groups here and there would continue to go astray and keep the internal security in jeopardy.
 

Chauvinist

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We need a NAP against corruption. The root of all evil.
This NAP against terrorism doesn't seem to be much completed.. and against corruption??? Who would launch that?? Aliens... I guess..!!

Because our "leaders and cream class" will be on streets if something is done against corruption.
 

LfcRed

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The implementation of the NAP has only been done on points that doesn't effect the political image of the government despite it has costed us multiple lives of our civilians and army. If we need to crush these kharijis we cannot afford to ignore loopholes. Sadly, our leaders have their personal interest dearer to them than this country or its people. Furthermore, better border management cannot be ruled out and we seriously need to look into it.

I am seriously disappointed by the Ulama in Pakistan who in my view should have played a better and vocal role in denouncing and condemning these attacks and bombings with anyone aiding such causes. No matter how much the local people condemn it as being un Islamic these barbaric kharijis do not take them as muslims and to them the killing of anyone not with them is justified. The point is to corner them first in a language they understand and debunk the claims of their false jihad. Unfortunately the Ulama of Pakistan tend to support these elements covertly if not overtly and call them shaheed and then ironically our people blame US, Saudia, Iran, India etc etc for such elements gaining confidence. Not ruling out that Indian establishments being active in harming pakistan and most probably be involved in it but we need to take every step and measure at our hand first.
 

I S I

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This NAP against terrorism doesn't seem to be much completed.. and against corruption??? Who would launch that?? Aliens... I guess..!!

Because our "leaders and cream class" will be on streets if something is done against corruption.
Believe me on that. End corruption, you end terrorism at the same time. I'm waiting for the time when we decide to wage Jihad against corruption.
 

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