ISLAMABAD - As the civil and military leadership is mulling revival of the 20-point National Action Plan (NAP) on Counter Terrorism, a latest document of National Counter Terrorism Authority (NACTA) shows that there remained very low progress on most of its points during the last 18 months.

The progress and implementation on major points of NAP remained very low and far from satisfactory, reveals a briefing paper recently prepared by NACTA.

However, NACTA claims that the implementation on NAP mostly remains with the federal government or provinces and its duty was to improve coordination among the provinces and the centre and play the role of a facilitator, a senior officer in the country’s premier authority against terrorism remarked.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif had announced the 20-point National Action Plan (NAP) on Counter Terrorism in December 2014 with the consensus of all the parliamentary parties of the country after the APS (Army Public School) massacre in Peshawar.

A quantitative and qualitative examination on the progress and implementation of all points of NAP shows that the federal government totally failed to introduce necessary legislations for revival and revamping of criminal justice as promised in the country’s first ever plan to counter terrorism. The federal government is still busy in holding meetings with the provinces, as last such meeting was on May 26, 2016, for chalking out a future course of action for revamping the criminal justice system.

Out of the 20 points, the organization of NACTA, terror financing, re-emergence of banned organizations, religious persecution, madrassa reforms, FATA (Federally Administered Tribal Areas) reforms, measures against abuse of internet and social media for terrorism, reconciliation in Balochistan, repatriation of Afghan refugees, and revamping and reforming the criminals justice system are those areas where the government almost failed to make any progress.

Muhammad Amir Rana, security analyst and director of an Islamabad based think tank, said that there were short term, mid term and long term measures proposed in NAP and the government could do nothing to make any progress on mid term and long term measures. “The mid term measures include madrassa reforms, terror financing etc while long term measures include revival of criminal justice system, Balochistan reconciliation and FATA reforms etc,” he gave an example.

He said that the government could do well on short term measures including establishment of military courts, countering hate speech and execution of terrorists but there was still ambiguity on a short term measure like ensuring against re-emergence of banned organizations.

The point number one of NAP is related to the executions of terrorists as the government had lifted a moratorium on executions soon after the APS terrorist attack. From December 2014 to the end of July 2017, total 411 convicts have been executed and out of this, the number of terrorists is less than 100. Out of 411, about 380 convicts were executed in Punjab, 18 in Sindh, seven in Khyber Pakhtunkhaw, five in Balochistan and two in Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK).

Under the NAP, the government so far has failed to reorganize and strengthen the NACTA as the body is still under staff with a few police officers working with it. The much talked about proposal of the establishment of Joint Intelligence Directorate (JID) under NACTA is yet to be materialized. The NACTA chief has to initiate process of recruitment of 53 officials for JID and 253 officials from grade 1 to 20 for the authority. “The government could neither revive NACTA nor improve coordination of law enforcement agencies as a short term measure of NAP,” Amir Rana said.

On terror financing, the progress of the federal government’s law enforcement agencies remained low. The government agencies only registered 32 cases of suspicious transactions and 126 accounts were frozen since NAP was announced while the recovery on this part remained low.

The federal government had promised that it would ensure against re-emergence of banned organizations but there is no considerable increase in the government list of proscribed organizations. While some opposition lawmakers of PPP have been found blaming the government that some banned organizations have been allowed to operate freely even in Islamabad with new names.

The federal government remained totally failed with regard to taking steps against religious persecution as NACTA even after the passage of 18 months claims that data is being collected from different sources to prepare proposals for policy makers to counter religious persecution.

The federal government also could not produce fruitful results on madrassa reforms and negotiations were still under way with the provinces on the registration of seminaries. The government has made an agreement with Ittehad-e-Tanzeematul Madaras (ITMP), a body of madaras representing five major religious schools of thought, on registration form and data form of madras but the decision is still yet be implemented. NACTA says that consensus document of registration and data forms have been shared with the provinces for their input. However, the government has completed geo-tagging of madrassas in Punjab and Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT) and more than 75 percent work has been completed in Sindh, KP and FATA while 60 percent in Balochistan.

The implementation on major point of NAP-FATA reforms is yet to see the light of the day as the committee constituted by Prime Minister under the supervision of Advisor to PM on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz is yet to submit its report to the premier. The NACTA document says that consultations in the seven agencies and frontier regions under the control of the federation had been completed but the report is yet to be submitted.

There is low progress of the federal government’s measures against the abuse of Internet and social media during the last 18 months as the country remained without any cyber crime law during this period.

The reconciliation in Balochistan remained at lowest priority of the government with regard to implementation of NAP and there is so far no outcome of the dialogue initiated with the exiled Baloch. Leaders. NACTA document says that surrender as well as rehabilitation of 1024 ferraris in the province is in process.

The federal government is still to form a policy to deal with the long-standing issue of Afghan refugees under NAP as it has temporarily extended the stay of registered refugees till December 31, 2016 and of un-registered till November 15 this year.

The progress on point number 2 of the NAP regarding establishment of special trial courts remained satisfactory and 11 such courts had been notified. The data collected by NACTA claims that 1808 terrorists had been killed and 5611 arrested under the NAP’s point number three that armed militias would not be allowed to operate in the country.

The progress of the provinces remained satisfactory with regard to countering hate speech as well as material as all provinces, ICT, AJK and Gilgit Baltistant have registered 13527 cases for misuse of loudspeaker and 12778 people have been arrested on these charges. Similarly, 5971 hate materials have been confiscated, 1342 cases of hate speech have been registered and 2381 hate mongers arrested. Under NAP, Counter Terrorism Force has been established in all provinces.

NACTA claims that it has noticed visible improvement about banning glorification of terrorists in media under the plan.

The progress on anti-militancy and targeted operations in Punjab and Karachi remained satisfactory.

Under the national plan, there is a considerable decrease in the sectarian terrorism in the country as compared to previous years as 19 such cases in 2016 and 79 cases in 2015 were reported while the number remained 176 in 2014, 127 in 2013 and 185 in 2012.

The civil and military leaderships are holding brainstorming meetings for the last two days for effective implementation of NAP to curb the menace of terrorism in the country after Quetta suicide blast in which more than 70 people, mostly lawyers, died and around 100 injured.