LAHORE - Though the civilian security establishment comes under fire time and again for failing to meet the pace of military machine to achieve the goals of National Action Plan, the interior ministry officials are quite satisfied with the performance of civilian security apparatus. The officials claimed the agencies in the domain of interior ministry are matching the swiftness of the military in efforts against terrorism, in background interviews with The Nation yesterday regarding NAP implementation.

The military establishment expressed its first public dissatisfaction over the performance of the civilian setup in its November 2015 Corps Commanders meeting. The army chief had called for governance initiatives to complement the success of security forces in the ongoing fight against terrorism and extremism, in a statement that hinted to the fact that military was dissatisfied with civilian authorities’ efforts in implementing the NAP.

The COAS in that meeting underlined the need for matching complimentary governance initiatives for long term gains of operation and enduring peace across the country.

The second major incident in which the ruling party’s efforts regarding NAP came under severe criticism was the Punjab Apex Committee meeting which took place the same month (November).The third and most prominent incident came when COAS attended a special security meeting at Karachi Corps Headquarters and pledged to go to any length for terror-free Karachi, sending out a clear message that there would be no let-up in the Rangers-led operation.

It was the second visit of General Raheel Sharif to the city in a month’s time. Last month, he accompanied the prime minister and attended a high-level meeting at the Governor House to discuss the city’s security issues with civil and military leadership.The army chief’s visit to the city came on a day when a fresh terror threat was looming over educational institutions of Sindh and Punjab. After the closure of schools in Punjab, it was announced that schools and colleges run by the Army and the Navy in Karachi would remain closed till today (Friday) because of security concerns. No reason was given for closing the educational institutions.

Interior ministry officials claimed anti-terror operations or NAP is not being controlled by the military establishment. The civilian setups are leading the NAP actions in Sindh and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa which are two difficult provinces in terms of counter-terrorism.The military and its allied agencies are dealing with the Fata region and Balochistan, while the rest of the task is being carried out by the civilian security apparatus.“One should understand that Rangers also falls in the domain of interior ministry and when some political quartets raised hue and cry over involving the paramilitary force in anti-terror operations in Sindh or Punjab they were only serving the purpose of anti-democracy forces,” they explained.

They complained there was no operational National Counter Terrorism Authority (Nacta) and no Joint Intelligence Directorate. Moreover, the civilian security establishment is low-funded as compared to the military security services.“How can a district in-charge of a counter-terror section of civilian security service cultivate sources with a meager fund of Rs60,000,” they questioned.They admitted corruption and lack of commitment among the ranks of civilian security agencies but claimed that putting confidence in the civilians would help curb these ills over time.

Claiming victories in anti-terror operations before and after the NAP launch, they said, “Jundullah’s head in Pakistan, Sheikh Ata-ur-Rehman was caught by the civilian security services. Rehman gang carried out some of the deadliest terror attacks in Karachi, including the assassination attempt on Corps Commander Karachi.”Recently, the mastermind of Jacobabad bomb blast was caught by the civilian security agencies. Shikarpur bomb blast and Katcheri attack in Rawalpindi culprit were also the catch of the civilians, they said. “Military and civilian security services have divided the tasks in different regions. We both are operating to achieve the NAP targets and are on the same page,” claimed the interior ministry officials.