LAHORE   - The federal and provincial governments are yet to implement 10 key points out of the total 20 parts of the national action plan (NAP), drafted in the wake of Taliban assault on an army-run school in Peshawar in December.
The much-debated plan had been rolled out by the federal government to counter the menace of terrorism and extremism all across the country.
Although the provincial authorities - particularly the Punjab government - have taken some key initiatives in this regard, a lot still needs to be done. Following is the summary of the 20-point NAP along with a review of actions taken so far.
1- Execution of convicted terrorists will continue: More than 100 condemned prisoners including terrorists and hardcore criminals have been hanged in jails across the country since Pakistan lifted a moratorium on death penalty in December.
2- Establishment of special trial courts for two years for speedy trial of terror suspects: Such special courts have been set up in all the four provinces and many cases of terrorism referred to these courts.
3- A commitment to ensure that no armed militias are allowed to function in the country: The people of Pakistan are yet to see any visible change in this regard. Several armed gangs of criminals or militias are actively operating in the southern Punjab, Balochistan, Sindh, and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
4- Strengthening and activation of Nacta: As a matter of fact, federal government has failed to fully activate the much-needed National Counter Terrorism Authority (Nacta) which was supposed to be fully functional by now.
5- Countering hate speech and extremist material: Early this month, Interior Minister Ch Nisar told the Senate about NAP achievements, claiming that at least 4,589 cases were registered and 4,266 people arrested for hate-speech. But on ground many factories of religious and sectarian hatred are still operating out there.
6- Choking financing for terrorists and terrorist organisations: The government is unable to stop the militants’ financing yet because of complicated nature and ways of money transfers. The authorities must take urgent and comprehensive measures to check the lifeline of the terrorists, according to experts.
7- Ensuring that proscribed organisations do not re-emerge: Where is the action against proscribed religious and sectarian outfits? If until today the government has been unable to even publish a list of banned outfits, how can we expect effective action against them?
8-Establishing and deploying a dedicated counter-terrorism force: The Punjab, Sindh, and Balochistan provinces, to some extent, have raised counter-terror corporals. But there is a need to set up proper counter-terror force at the principal and national level.
9-Taking effective steps against religious persecution: There are no effective measures taken on this count too.
10- Registration and regulation of madrassas: The Punjab police department has completed the geo-tagging of all the 13,754 madaris or religious schools located in the province. Other provinces are also collecting data about the madaris, their financers and administrators. However, this process is too slow to be completed by the end of this year.
11-Ban on glorification of terrorism and terrorist organisations through print and electronic media: The government has strictly directed the media outlets to observe zero-tolerance against any effort to glorify militants and their activities. Thus, it is completely banned amid close monitoring.
12- Administrative and development reforms in Fata with immediate focus on return of IDPs: The government has been taking some initiatives to help internally displaced persons return to their regions since the areas are cleared off militants following military operation in the northwest.
13- Dismantling communication networks of terrorist organisations: Still many banned outfits including sectarian organisations are running their propaganda campaigns by using social media tools. The authorities are unable to fully dismantle the communication network of terrorist outfits.
14- Tangible measures against abuse of internet and social media for terrorism: The authorities are unable to intercept or stop terrorists from using social media or internet for propaganda campaigns.
15- Zero tolerance for militancy in Punjab: The provincial government has taken some important steps to ensure religious harmony in the Punjab province but no one can guarantee that no militant exists or actively operating in the province.
16- Taking the ongoing operation in Karachi to its logical conclusion: The security forces are struggling to maintain peace in the port city and the operation against militants and criminals is underway in the economic hub of the country, with authorities claiming its success on every other day though acts of terrorism and target killings have not been controlled completely.
17- Empowering Balochistan government for political reconciliation with complete ownership by all stakeholders: There is no visible change on ground in this regard. Either the federal government is not seriously working for political reconciliation with Baloch dissidents or the separatist leaders are unwilling to sit on the negotiating table.
18- Dealing firmly with sectarian terrorists: Fatwas against members of minor sects are regularly issued with impunity. Where is the action against banned religious and sectarian outfits which continue to operate with new names? Obviously, the government has failed to fulfil its promise of dealing firmly with sectarian terrorists.
19- Formulation of a comprehensive policy to deal with the issue of Afghan refugees, beginning with registration of all unregistered illegal refugees: Thousands of Afghan nationals, staying illegally in Pakistan, are detained and released by the law enforcement agencies. But the government has failed to complete the registration process of all Afghan refugees.
20- Revamping and reforming the criminal justice system, to strengthen counter-terrorism departments including granting of powers to the provincial CIDs to intercept terrorist communications: So far, no important steps have been taken to reform the criminal justice system in the country. However, a few police stations are established in the big cities to deal with terror-related cases.
The government’s plan to fit hard-line clerics with microchip bracelets for tracking their location has also sparked concern among religious circles. More than 7,500 hard-line clerics placed in the “Fourth Schedule” have gone missing under mysterious circumstances all across the country. The law enforcement agencies are unable to track down such hardliners or know their whereabouts.
Security experts and political pundits believe that time is running out for the state; the genie of sectarianism is eating away the economy, security, and harmony in society.