ISLAMABAD - Members of a working group have called for revising the National Action Plan (NAP), dividing it into two broader components — counter-terrorism (CT) and counter-violent extremism (CVE). 

“The CT will deal with the hard approach of countering militancy while the CVE will curb militancy in the long-term,” these suggestions came from a working group, which discussed the “effective implementation of the NAP”. This was the third dialogue in a series convened by the Pak Institute for Peace Studies (PIPS), an Islamabad-based think tank, on countering extremism.

The working group included Tariq Parvez, founding head of Nacta, former IGP Tariq Khosa, defence analyst Lt-Gen (r) Amjad Shoaib, security analyst Imtiaz Gul, former senator Afrasiab Khattak, Senator Farhatullah Babar, former chief secretary KP Khalid Aziz, political analyst Raoof Hassan and others.

The group suggested that the CT component should aim at reforming policing, ensuring coordination among security institutions, acting against armed groups, curbing hate speech, choking terror financing, protecting minorities, dismantling militants’ communication networks, countering the cyberspace, addressing loopholes in the criminal justice system, securing borders and reforming intelligence.

The CVE component will aim at reforming seminaries, banning glorification of militants, reconciling politically with different militants especially in Balochistan, rehabilitating and de-radicalizing of militants, reforming education, re-orientating culture, reshaping media strategy, countering sectarianism and reforming the judiciary.

The group suggested that for each of the different points of the NAP, a proper plan may be charted, laying down their indicators, goals, and responsible institutions. The prior experience showed that different benchmarks were quoted to highlight progress on any single point.

The group urged the parliament to provide oversight role to issues related to the NAP. The group called upon the prime minister to take ownership of the entire NAP. This will help to strengthen the civilian aspect of counter-terrorism too. The prime minister, it was suggested, should hold meetings on a regular basis, discussing the progress on different points of the NAP.

The group called for making the National Counter-Terrorism Authority (Nacta) as the coordinating body on the NAP.

Senator Farhatullah Babar in his remarks said that Justice Qazi Faiz Isa report had correctly identified the loopholes and it offered a most viable way for carrying forward the NAP.

“Instead of dismissing it as an indictment of the government or overstepping of jurisdiction by the judge it should be seen as a document that dispassionately offered solutions. For this, we should commend the judge and not reprimand him,” he said.