ISLAMABAD - The government failed to deliver on counter militant front last year as the pace of implementation on the National Action Plan (NAP) on Counter Terrorism remained 'far from not satisfactory', says an annual internal security report of 2015. Pakistan Security Report 2015 recently released by a non-government think tank the Pakistan Institute for Peace Studies (PIPS) says that implementation of NAP was the major task of the government on counter militant front during last year but its performance remained dismal.

A corps commanders meeting held in November last year had showed its concerns over the poor implementation of NAP by the civilian government and its agencies while pointing towards serious issues of bad governance and administration from the civilian side. The government had announced 20-point NAP in December 2014 soon after the tragedy of the Army Public School (APS) attack in Peshawar. The security report also held responsible the Ministry of Interior for poor implementation on NAP, saying by entrusting responsibility of eleven committee of NAP implementation to it was beyond its capacity and mandate. The ministry has taken the leading role beyond its capacity in implementing the NAP. The report says that the challenge of tackling militancy has been huge and manifold and security institutions lacked a proper counter terrorism (CT) framework.

"Still the entire task of implementing NAP appeared huge. This in itself not only exposes the capacity gaps of the implementing institutions but also brings the structural dichotomies on the surface, resultantly causing confusions on some points of the NAP, especially pertaining to the status of banned organisations and madrassa’s reforms in the country," the report says. Some analysts believe that NAP is too much military-centric squeezing the space of civilians. The internal security report points out that a major hurdle in the way of effective implementation of NAP was the lack of the centralised mechanism.

The government had constituted 15 ministerial level committees to monitor the progress on 20 points of NAP. Apart from this, the national level apex committee and provincial apex committees comprising civil military leadership were formed in this regard. Gradually these committees became non-functional primarily because the interior minister took the responsibility of eleven out of total 15, which was beyond its capacity and mandate. The other ministerial committees followed in the footsteps of the Interior Ministry. "Little did they know as to whom they are answerable," it said, adding that same happened with the provincial apex committees and consequently the role of security institutions became prominent.

The report identifies that the government lacks interest in relying on modern technologies to counter the militant threat. According to a retired senior police officer Tariq Pervez, nothing is known about which government organiSation is "responsible for monitoring the militants' activities on the Internet and countering these". The think tank who deals with security issues says: "Although the country has been vowing to take action against all sorts of armed groups, including those attacking cross the border, the government's subsequent action and statements suggest lack of clarity on dealing with the Haqqani Network and Jamaatud Dawa which are on the watch list."

The report providing data of terrorist attacks says that the militant, national/insurgent and violent sectarian groups carried out total of 625 terrorist attacks in 76 districts/ regions across the country in 2015 which is 48 per cent less than the year below. At least 1,069 people lost their lives while another 1443 were left injured in these attacks. As for terrorist attacks, the number of people killed and injured in 2015 decreased by 38 and 54 per cent respectively as compared to 2014. However, the number of people killed in sectarian-related terrorist attacks remained 272 in 2015 that is 7 per cent high than previous years' fatalities (255) in such incidents.

Those killed in terrorist attacks in Pakistan in 2015 included 630 civilians, 318 security personnel and 121 militants. Those injured in these attacks included 1,075 civilians, 351 security personnel ad 17 militants. Over 57 per cent (359) of the all 625 reported terrorist attacks in 2015 were carried out by the Pakistani Taliban, mainly the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) and its affiliated local Taliban groups. The report recommends that there is a need for evolving an effective broad-based implementation mechanism regarding NAP and need to distribute the Ministry of Interior's responsibilities to related ministries. There is a need for establishing a National Dialogue Forum (NDF) and provinces should establish curriculum review committees as part of counter extremism strategy. The provinces need to prioritise the registration of madrassas and to set up a mechanism to bring them under their control.

The provinces need to establish de-radicalisation centers as part of counter extremism strategy.It also recommends that rapid completion of development initiatives in FATA and KP is crucial. There is an urgent need to speed up FATA reforms and the Frontier Crimes Regulations (FCR) must be replaced with the Pakistan Penal Code (PPC), the Code of Criminal Procedure and the Evidence Act. All fundamental rights guaranteed by the constitution must be extended to FATA without further delay. A swift action needed not only to provide full facilities to the Internally Displaced Persons(IDPs) but also to check undesired practices by charity organisations in their camps.