ISLAMABAD - In a rare rebuttal the federal government on Saturday disagreed with the Supreme Court that it was not serious in implementing the National Action Plan (NAP) on counterterrorism.

The apex court the other day observed the federal and provincial governments had done nothing concrete to implement the NAP and called it a ‘big joke’ with the people.

Heading a three-member bench, Justice Jawad S Khawaja also deplored that the federal government even failed to ban self-styled militant organisation Islamic State and showed its displeasure over the lack of mechanism to properly oversee the NGOs affairs and stop terror funding.

An ‘unnamed’ spokesman of the interior ministry reacting to court remarks said in a statement, “We respect the decisions of the apex court but the impression is wrong that no work was being done for the implementation of NAP.”

The ministry said not only the government figures showed that terrorism incidents had decreased but international institutions and think tanks also included Pakistan in the list of those countries where terrorism declined during the last year as compared to previous years.

The unnamed spokesman also claimed that the funding of non-government organisations (NGOs) was neither part of 20 points of NAP nor it comes under the scope of this plan.

The statement clarified that NAP implementation was not the responsibility of a single department, institution or ministry rather it was a national agenda and several government ministries, provincial governments intelligence agencies and army were collectively ‘working hard’ to implement it.

“On some of the points of NAP, the years work has been done in months and fruitful results have come out,” the spokesman said. But at the same time he admitted that the implementation process remained slow on some NAP aspects due to different reasons.

The ministry said that operation Zarb-e-Azb had dismantled the network of terrorists and as a result of this operation, 20,000 terrorists have been killed or injured and 2,500 arrested. Similarly, 400 manufacturers of IED bombs have been arrested and 100 such factories dismantled.

The statement said that provincial apex committees were meeting regularly and were monitoring the implementation and progress on NAP. “So far 27 meetings of apex committees have been held.”

The spokesman said that as far the NGOs were concerned, their regulation was not part of NAP and these have been operating in the country for long under different regimes. “The credit goes to the incumbent government that it banned visas of staff of many international NGOs, one was stopped from working, some were forced to leave the country and some INGOs were banned,” he said.

He further informed that PM in view of the bad situation decided to transfer the registration work of INGOs from the Economic Affairs Division (ED) of finance ministry to the interior ministry, and gave six months to the ministry to organise all matter of INGOs including regulation of their funding.

“A cohesive and compete system would be in place in six months in this connection as the (interior) ministry was working on it,” he said.

The spokesman stressed that it should be acknowledged that terror incidents had drastically decreased after NAP. Internal security is a complicated matter that involves many civil and military departments but it would be injustice to say that the situation had not improved though complete peace had not been attained yet, he said.

The statement said the detailed report of NAP implementation would be presented before the apex court next week but some details were being released at the moment.

According to these details, security forces have carried out 54,376 combing operations so far under NAP and as a results of the these 60,420 arrests were made. Similarly, 3,019 intelligence based operations were carried out and 1,388 intelligence reports were shared with intelligence agencies.

Under the NAP, 97.9 million SIMs have been biometrically verified and 5.1 million SIMs have been blocked. The process has been completed in just three months.

As many as 1,776 cases have been registered over spreading religious hatred and 1,799 accused hate mongers arrested. Over 1,500 books and other hate material had been confiscated and 71 such shops sealed.

The ministry also claimed that terrorism and crime has decreased in Karachi as a result of the targeted operation and the law and order situation of metropolitan city had improved. It said targeted killing has decreased up to 44 percent, murder incidents up to37 percent, terrorism up to 46 percent and theft up to 23 percent in Karachi. As many as 55,962 criminals have been arrested in the city, 688 of them terrorists.

Under the NAP, 8,111 activists of banned organisations have been placed under 4th Schedule and cases have been registered against 1,026 suspected terrorists across the country. FIA and Stat Bank of Pakistan has so far either put a question mark or frozen bank accounts carrying a total of around Rs2 billion and efforts were made to stop money laundering as well as money transactions through hundi/hawala.

Besides this, work is under progress to check hate literature on social media, repatriation of Afghan refugees, choke terror funding, bring reforms in Fata and registration of madrasas. However, the ministry admitted that there were some internal and external restrictions to implement these points of NAP.