After a recent meeting presided over by the Prime Minister and attended by the key government officials and the Army Chief, the need was felt to take measures for more effective implementation of the National Action Plan. The Army Chief had already suggested “re-energizing of the Plan and achieving discernable results.” A review of the Plan itself reveals that it is marred with banalities which are not likely to act as implementable guidelines. The government has failed to establish a counter terrorism force as well as enabling the NACTA to come into operation. The provincial governments have added one to two thousand constables into the police force, naming them the counter terrorism force; yet this is just an eyewash. Likewise a cursory glance at the other provisions of the NAP reflects an obvious lack of vision and will of the politicians to react to the quantum of challenge put forth by the terrorists. Most of those hanged under the implementation of death sentence provision of the plan were involved in murder cases based upon personal rivalries instead of those involved in hardcore terrorism. The establishment of military courts has been challenged in the Supreme Court, the decision of which is awaited. Not a single organization has been banned which is operating with a different name after being proscribed earlier. No mechanism to end religious extremism and protection of minorities has been put into place. There has been a talk to implement some form of control over the pulpit but is being resisted ferociously by the politico-religious hegemons.

The concern of the top brass of the military is strongly justified in the above mentioned scenario. It appears that the political right and even the center, is yet to come to terms with the reality that the war against terrorism requires radical change in the narratives across the board. The syllabi of the seminaries are not the only issue which need urgent attention but the public and private sector education also needs a comprehensive review. How can a state win such an unusual war which was started deliberately by distorting the historical and political perspectives since the creation of the state itself? The item in the NAP that the government would not allow the spread of sectarianism looks very well intended but it is dismaying that no clear pathway to implement this important objective has been put forward so far. It is further apparent that if the political government continues to run parallel to the military’s efforts, the achievement of any tangible results would remain an elusive goal. It is high time that the political government starts treating the causes instead of merely addressing the symptoms.