ISLAMABAD - Despite the tall claims of Interior Minister Rehman Malik that every step is being taken to counter terrorism, the ministry has so far failed to establish a central database on terrorists a decision taken some months ago by the committee dealing with defence matters and having representation of political and military leadership. Even though half a year has gone past since the committee instructed for the formation of the database but that does not press upon the interior ministry to finally wake up and show some compliance. Some six months ago, it had been decided during a meeting of the committee presided over by Prime Minster Yousuf Raza Gilani that a consolidated database on terrorists, separately comprising of foreign and local terrorists, would be established on fast track basis. The committee had also agreed that National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA) would be given the responsibility to maintain and establish such a database under a single authority, National Counter-terrorism Authority (NACTA), which is functioning under the umbrella of Ministry of Interior. Presently, different government departments at national and provincial levels including National Crisis Management Cell (NCMC) of the interior ministry maintain their separate databanks on terrorists for their own use but access to complete information about any terrorist remains a far cry for the law enforcement agencies due to the absence of a central authority. An official of the interior ministry dealing with the terrorism matters who was not authorised to speak to the media said that law enforcement agencies always face difficulty in urgently verifying the identity of any suspect in the wake of suicide attacks or any other terrorism act. He said the decision on the establishment of central database on terrorists had been discussed in the ministry but little work could be done on it. Interior Minister Rehman Malik, some months ago, had publicly said after chairing a high level meeting in the ministry that NADRA would establish and maintain a databank on terrorists. A source in the interior ministry informed that the founder coordinator of NACTA, Tariq Pervez, a retired police officer, had once proposed to the interior minister for profiling all prisoners in the country facing charges of terrorism but the proposal was never entertained by the minister. Tariq Pervez, who is a terrorism expert and had investigated both the terrorist attacks on former President Pervez Musharraf, had resigned from NACTA due to his differences with Rehman Malik as the minister wanted to have the administrative and financials matters of NACTA in his hands. A high official of NADRA confirmed that the Authority has not so far established any databank on terrorists. NADRA so far keeps a watch list having information about foreigners registered the National Aliens Registration Authority (NARA) to keep a check that no foreigner might succeed to get registered with the Authority, he added. The Nation has learnt that NADRA administration has also shown its reservations on the establishment of such database by it on the plea that hundreds of NADRA registration centres throughout the country would become vulnerable to terrorist activities after they knew that the Authority maintains a database on them. Unfortunately, NACTA, established in 2009 by the federal government as a research organisation to propose measures and chalk out a national counter-terrorism action plan, has become a dormant body mainly due to irresponsible behaviour of the interior ministry. The federal government has not provided a legal cover to NACTA despite the passage of around two years. Interior minister some weeks ago had said that the proposed NACTA Bill would soon be tabled before the parliament for passage but not progress was made on it. NACTA has witnessed six bureaucrats, retired and serving, since its inception in 2009 including Tariq Pervez, Chaudhry Iftikhar, Zafarullah Khan, Dr Waseem Kausar and Malik Muhammad Iqbal and that clearly demonstrates the intention of the government to run such an important organisation on adhoc basis. The Authority is now served by retired police officer Khawaja Khalid Farooq but it could not show any significant results under his administration.