ISLAMABAD - With a view to fighting war against terrorism in a more organised way, the federal government has decided to establish a joint intelligence secretariat representing all the civilian and military intelligence agencies in order to coordinate all the intelligence sources of information, Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali said this on Tuesday.

Addressing a press conference after giving a briefing to the prime minister on National Security Policy (NSP), the interior minister said that they were both ready for peace and war.

He said joint intelligence secretariat was being established in order to coordinate intelligence sharing of all the intelligence agencies including ISI, MI, IB, Special Branch and others. "This secretariat will start working within six to seven months and will work round the clock," he added. He said this institute would not only analyse the intelligence-based information but also put different pieces of information together and sift these.

The minister said that a plan was under way to establish a Counterterrorism Rapid Deployment Force at the federal level and that would be replicated at the provincial levels. "It would be started with 500 personnel from serving or retired army personnel and extended up to 2000 workforce," he informed. This force will sift area on the basis of any intelligence report and would quickly respond after any terrorism incident.

Nisar said the federal government would make NACTA (National Counter Terrorism Authority) an effective body within two months and all the vacant posts in the authority were being filled on urgent basis. "Previously, NACTA was non-functional and it was being run with a deputy secretary," he said adding that this would be the focal point of counterterrorism policy of the government.

Rejecting the criticism of media on the PMLN led federal government for its failure to give a national security policy, he said it was too early to criticise and a draft of the National Security Policy (NSP) would be presented to the prime minister within next two weeks.

Nisar said that NSP had been divided into two parts, internal security policy and the security policy having foreign policy elements and a draft of the internal security policy was being finalised after input from all stakeholders.

The minister said that they had finalised homework on proposed all party conference (APC) to from comprehensive counterterrorism policy and they had negotiated with all the parliamentary parties on the issue. "The date of APC would be finalised within this month," he said. The government would place four options before APC, either to continue with the present policy, to start dialogue with the militants, initiate strong action or a policy should be adopted having mix of dialogue and action, he informed. "Whatever option the APC would decide, would be implemented in letter and spirit," he said. He said the issue of drone would also be discussed in the APC. He said that army had decided to give 500 SMGs (small machine guns) to Balochistan Police as well as army would also train it. He said the government was going to introduce a fresh legislation on terrorism. The minister said that Quetta would be deweaponized soon and a security plan for Karachi was also ready.

Responding to a question about Pakistan India tensions over allegations of cross-border firing, he said that India should analyse its internal situation, as Pakistan would not allow itself to be browbeaten.

Separately, refuting to accept the warning of banned Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) not to execute its members who are prisoners on death row, PML-N led federal government is determined to continue with its policy to send 'all death row prisoners to gallows'.

"We have sent more than 400 pending cases of mercy petitions of death row prisoners to the quarters concerned for their final settlement," Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali khan said at the Punjab House while commenting on the warning of TTP. The minister said he had also read out the warning in the newspapers but the government would continue with its already declared policy on the issue.

TTP, the other day, had warned the federal government not to go ahead with its policy to execute its members who are prisoners on death row otherwise it would wage a war against PML-N if the government ignored its warning. A spokesman for TTP (Punjab), Maulana Asmatullah Muavia had said this in a statement issued here on Monday for the media outlets. The statement warned the government not to "blindly follow" the Pakistan Army, alleging the military uses political forces for its own gains.

INP adds: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Tuesday emphasised the need for effective coordination among provinces to curb the menace of terrorism.

PM Nawaz visited the Ministry of Interior where Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan and Interior Secretary Qamar Zaman Chaudhry briefed him about the outline of new counter-terrorism policy.

The Prime Minister directed the authorities concerned to formulate such a security policy which envisages an effective mechanism for elimination of terrorism.