Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah, while chairing the 19th meeting of the Apex Committee, expressed dismay over the non-implementation of NAP. Placing the onus on the federal government, he stated that the government had failed to implement key portions of the plan and does not prioritise its realisation.

While it is difficult to argue the truth of this statement, especially in light of the Quetta report, the PPP government had misgivings regarding the Rangers operation in Sindh. But here we are today, the streets of Karachi safer, its ranking as the 6th most dangerous city in the world down to 31 and falling, and the PPP government claims the success as their own.

Brushing aside the impression of slowing down the targeted operation, the CM claimed that he was expanding the scope of the Rangers operation to other serious crimes such as street crime, drug mafia, land mafia etc. The truth of the matter is that the PPP government made the special powers to the Rangers as controversial as possible, allegedly in the process to save a select few. However, credit should be given where it is due, and the way the Sindh government is now aligning to work with security establishments and the paramilitary forces to bring peace to the province should be appreciated. While NAP is indeed also a federal project, in our federal system, the provincial governments also have the burden of making sure their constituents are secure.

The progress made by the Rangers is commendable. From September 2013 to date, Rangers have conducted 8,849 combing operations and handed over 6,892 criminals to police. The Rangers arrested 1,493 terrorists, 975 target killers, 440 extortionists and 116 kidnappers while 151 hostages were recovered and 10,560 weapons seized. Yet most of them await the courts’ decision and it can only be expedited when the government is serious regarding their speedy conviction.

The NAP calls for banning all terrorist groups, yet many function openly in broad daylight. The National Counter Terrorism Authority (NACTA), should have been made functional, but this has not been done so far as the federal government never released the funds required for its establishment.

After the attack in Army Public School in Peshawar back in 2014, the civilian and military leadership chalked out a unanimous plan to uproot terrorism and extremism, yet countless security lapses and innocent deaths later, NAP remains ineffectual. Before his retirement, General Raheel Sharif was quoted as saying, “NAP is central to achievements of our objectives and its lack of progress is affecting the consolidation phase of operation Zarb-e-Azb.” The army has done its part and waits for the government, both provincial and federal, to step up and do theirs.