Lahore - Pakistan state is tightening noose around the extremist elements in the country and has taken some actions recently, in line with the policy being pursued rigorously since 2014.

The impression that the recent detentions of extremist elements have been taken under some outside influence is totally wrong and it has gained traction only among those circles that are ignorant of country’s long running fight against extremism and terrorism.

The country, which faced worst kind of terrorism for over a decade, adopted a two pronged strategy to deal with the menace. In Kinetic domain Operation Zarb e Azb was launched in June 2014. To support this operation 20-point National Action Plan was announced.

The comprehensive NAP was aimed to counter violent extremism, hate speech and hate literature to address the root causes of terrorism. The third point of NAP specifically deals with action against proscribed organisations.

Operation Raddul Fassad was launched on Feb 2, 2017 with four cardinals – eliminating residual threat of terrorism, countrywide counter terrorism operation, de-weaponisation and explosive control. A better system of border management was also put in place to check terrorists’ cross border movement.

The objective of kinetic operations was achieved to a large extent which brought down terrorism. However, previously due to lack of commitment on part of some stakeholders the implementation of NAP remained wanting.

But the counter-terror efforts saw a visible impetus since last year. The state policy about the

 

 

 

 

extremist elements became clearer when the incumbent army chief during his speech on September 6, 2017 categorically announced that monopoly of use of force rests will the state.

The arrest of many inciting religious violence over the past several months is a testimony to that reality. More than 4,000 hate mongers have been arrested over time.

To counter hybrid threats, PECA was strengthened and action against hate speech and literature was ensured.

COAS General Qamar Javed Bajwa, while making speech at Munich Security Conference, said that “let me say that terrorists thrive on our division and feed on our inability to come together against them. I humbly call upon all of you to deny them these chinks in our collective armour. Lack of focus and commitment and individual effort won’t take us anywhere.”

Now that our focus is implementation of NAP to address the root cause of extremism and deradiclize the society, the NSC meeting held on Nov 6, 2018 also concluded the path to future lies in Rule of Law, he pointed out.

DG ISPR has also been saying same thing in his pressers that Pakistan will move towards peace, stability and prosperity and won’t allow anyone to use its soil against state interests.

 

NATIONAL ACTION PLAN

 

1.         After the Peshawar incident, government decided to proceed with the execution of extremists convicted in terror related cases. The Government has already started implementation.

2.         Special courts, headed by the officers of the armed forces, will be established for the speedy trial of terrorists. These courts will be established for a term of two years.

3.         Formation of armed militia will not be allowed in the country.

4.         National Counter Terrorism Authority will be revived and made effective

5.         There will be a crackdown on hate-speech, and action will be taken against newspapers, magazines contributing to the spread of such speech.

6.         Financial sources of terrorists and terror organisations will be cut.

7.         Banned outfits will not be allowed to operate under different names.

8.         Special anti-terrorism force will be raised.

9.         Measures will be taken to stop religious extremism and to protect minorities.

10.       Madrassas will be regularised and reformed.

11.       Print and electronic media will not be allowed to give any space to terrorists.

12.       Keeping the rehabilitation of IDPs as the top-most priority, administrative and development reforms in FATA will be expedited.

13.       Communication systems of terrorist organisations will be destroyed.

14.       Social media and the Internet will not be allowed to be used by terrorists to spread propaganda and hate speech, though exact process for that will be finalised.

15.       Like the rest of the country, no space will be given to extremism in any part of the Punjab.

16.       Operation against terrorists in Karachi will be taken to its logical conclusion.

17.       In the interest of political reconciliation, Baluchistan government will be given complete authority by all stakeholders.

18.       Elements spreading sectarian violence will be prosecuted.

19.       Comprehensive policy will be formed for registration of Afghan refugees.

20.       To give provincial intelligence agencies access to communication of terrorists and to strengthen anti-terror agencies through basic reforms in the criminal justice system. Constitutional amendments and legislation will be carried out for this purpose.