Rawalpindi: Major General Asim Saleem Bajwa, the director general of the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR), today stated that some parts of the National Action Plan have already been initiated, while other aspects require more time due to political challenges.

In an interview with Russian magazine Sputnik, the DG ISPR said Pakistan’s new anti-terrorism National Action Plan (NAP) is proving effective in cutting the funding of terrorist groups operating in the country.

“One of the biggest achievements of the plan were the physical operations in FATA [Federally Administered Tribal Areas], intelligence-based operations and choking the funding of terrorist groups,” DG ISPR said.

He said Pakistan is expanding anti-extremism measures focusing on younger people, who are the primary targets of terrorist recruitment. “We started with some pilot projects for the deradicalization program that now has extended to the national level,” Asim Bajwa said.

He mentioned the Safoora Goth bus carnage as one of the recent incidents, proving the increasing activity of radicalized youth. Pakistan stepped up anti-terrorism efforts after Tehreek-e-Taliban gunmen killed more than 150 people, most of them student, at Army Public School in Peshawar in December 2014.

The 17-point plan of action includes cutting financial aid to terrorists and preventing banned organizations from operating with new names, formation of special anti-terrorism force, regularization of religious seminaries known as madrassas, constitutional amendments, banning space for terrorists in electronic and print media, destroying their communication systems, and the repatriation of Afghan refugees.