Last year ended on a high in the fight against terrorism – along with health, education, poverty and democracy – with more than 20 international non-governmental organizations being eliminated from the country. More than half of these were from the proscribed militant umbrella: Pakistan Humanitarian Forum (PHF).
Among the radical groups eliminated – or asked to leave on their own, as we customarily do with terror outfits – are global threats like ActionAid, Plan International World Vision, Plan International, Trocaire, Pathfinder International, Danish Refugee Council, George Soros´ Open Society Foundations, Oxfam Novib and Marie Stopes.
Their complete elimination – not the X percent or so that we clear on other fronts, 100 percent – will be completed in February.
But of course it won’t end here. There are many other similarly perilous group that are potential targets for the operation that has been tentatively dubbed Radd-ul-INGOs.
As is the hallmark of a truly efficient counterterror operation, these groups weren’t sent any notices for that would’ve warned them of the coming cleansing action. And again, similar to other terror groups that the state has overcome, Pakistan actually had negotiated and agreed upon op-ended agreements with these outfits in the past.
Insiders confirm that there is absolute confusion in the ranks of these radical groups with ongoing deliberation over “what particularly went wrong that led to them being… shut down.”
Intelligence reports confirmed that many of these dangerous groups had children in their sights. For instance, Plan International targeted 1.6 million vulnerable and marginalised children in the past 20 years.
Another positive out of this counterterror action is that thousands of local collaborators have suffered the consequences that they deserved. Like any international terror group, these also penetrated Pakistan and functioned through the locals, and hence the workforce has been uprooted.
For instance, 50 local militants of the now banned outfit Action Aid have now been rendered jobless in the terror industry.
You know you have terrorists on the run, when their political wings start making defeatist noise. And that’s what the Pakistan Civil Society Forum (PCSF) has been doing of late.
As they normally do, these mouthpieces are underscoring work done for causes like education, poverty, women empowerment and healthcare, which of course are the fronts for their terror businesses.
As expected they are bringing in international dynamics, Pakistan’s image and of course the legality of the action.
Thankfully, as clearly outlined in the National Action Plan that has been implemented by letter and spirit, the funding for these groups has been scrutinised and those who are providing these groups the financial clout to wreak havoc in Pakistan, will also be targeted under the decisive Radd-ul-INGOs.
Meanwhile, these terror groups, and their mouthpieces – like their peers – claim that they’re doing the work that the government is supposed to do. They say that their action is according to the very foundations of law in Pakistan, and the fact that their efforts – often in areas where the government officials can’t even reach – is actually helping reinforce the Constitution, in turn underlining the failures of the government.
However, the decisive action by the state, has clearly shut up these nonsensical claims of the groups that are clearly running for their lives now.
Fittingly, the Minister of State for Interior Affairs, Talal Chaudhry took a firm stand against terrorism and stated that the reason for the operation was because the organizations were involved in activities “ beyond their mandate and for which they have no legal justification”.
Appropriately, the minister questioned the groups’ spending and underscored a large influx of such outfits into the country following 9/11, upping the ante on conflict that militarily targets the national interests of Pakistan.
It is worth mentioning that earlier this year, some of these international groups that were targeting women were defeated. To further curb terrorism, the registration process to enlist as a terror group in Pakistan has been made stricter and now includes several bureaucratic hurdles.
This action is timely for Pakistan’s international repute, with the likes of the European Union reviewing economic concessions provided to the country, and UN issuing condemnations as well.
As our Prime Minister puts so accurately, “Pakistan is the only country that is winning its war against terrorism”.