The report on Quetta Carnage paints a clear picture of where the National Action Plan (NAP) stands after two years. The plan which was inked after the APS Peshawar massacre on 16 December 2014 in which 144 lives were lost, has hardly brought any significant change in the society. The institutions which should have been working hand in hand are mostly “on the same page” but of different books. Hardly any incident took place that was not lost in the fog of politics.

Recently Interior Minister Ch Nisar Ali Khan was questioned on the Quetta report including his meeting with a banned organization and the loop holes in the system; he defended his actions saying ‘we have taken severe measures to curb terrorism in the country.’ He said that the ‘do more’ mantra of external forces needs to end, and should focus on tackling the menace in their own land.

Pakistan has been facing the menace of terrorism even before 9/11, and after it we saw a steep rise in it, however very little has been done at state level to control it. After losing over 60,000 people Pakistan thought of creating NACTA in 2010 the bill for which was tabled in 2013; to date it is not truly functional even though every year they receive a budgetary allocation, which in 2016-17 is Rs1.559 billion.

National Action Plan was implemented on January 7, 2015 as a ‘doctrine of necessity; yet it poses a challenge that the state has not been able to tackle. There is no doubt that terrorist attacks have lessened in numbers, but the intensity has increased in the past two years. According to South Asian Terrorism Portal during 2015 and 16, 940 / 612 civilians, 339 / 293 security personnel were killed during operations and 2403 / 896 terrorists were killed after NAP.

NAP comprises of 20 major points to be implemented, but it’s easier said than done, same is the case with these points. There are a number of issues faced during the implementation:

Executions

The first point of NAP is related to death sentences in terrorism cases for which Military Courts were established under 21st Constitutional Amendment and the Pakistan Army Bill 2015, and 411 people executed till July 2016 according to a NACTA report, of these 380 were from Punjab. Even though Military Courts have played a significant role but this has not eliminated terrorism fully. The other issue with the Military courts is from 411 executions only about 100 are terrorists the rest are involved in other crimes. Lastly it has become a huge challenge for the Civil Judicial system as it would need to work more efficiently and justly. The armed forces have killed 1808 terrorists majority from FATA and Sindh. Around 5600 were arrested of which 1665 were from Sindh.

Apparently the extremist mindset seems to be stronger than the noose.

Militants

NAP bans all militant organizations to operate in the country. A list of banned organizations made by NACTA had two new names added to it in 2016. Majority of these still operate freely or have started operating under new names successfully carrying out their activities.

Hate speech and literature

Around 1342 cases were filed against hate speech, 238 arrests made, 13527 cases registered against misuse of loudspeaker and over 12,778 people were arrested. 5971 items of material and equipment was confiscated under NAP. However the extremists have not learnt a lesson, they still continue to promote their ideology through literature and hate speeches.

Funding

Militants and banned organizations have well defined and regular funding channels which were to be blocked under NAP. According to sources and claims by authorities large networks have been cut off including their sources both internal and external. The government agencies only registered 32 cases of suspicious transactions and 126 accounts were frozen according to NACTA report till July 2016.

Counter Terrorism Force

The Provinces have created their own Counter Terrorism Force – also called Rapid Response Force, with the aim to counter suspicious or terrorist activity and tackle it with the help of other forces. But lack of coordination among them has hindered the operations, and nearly 5,498 people are deployed in CTF.

Protection of Minorities

Along with attacks on mosques, shrines, markets, government buildings, government officials, lawyers, and Military personnel, the extremists also attack the minorities of Pakistan. Even though under NAP it was the state’s responsibility to provide protection to minorities and end religious persecution, yet many cases have taken place. Recently a bill was passed by Sindh Assembly to stop forced conversions but soon after it, rallies were taken out against it and it had to be taken back.

Madrassas

After 9/11 Madrassa reforms and registration has been a major task for almost all governments but not one of these succeeded. Madrassa registration and GeoTagging was to be done under NAP but till now it has partially succeeded in Punjab only. In the other provinces it is still progressing. It is being done with the coordination of Ittehad e Tanzeemat e Madaris Pakistan. Till now 62678 mosques have been Geo Tagged and 2926 minority places of worship have been geo-tagged as per report.

Glorification of militants banned in media

NAP stops allotting air time to militants and their glorification in print or electronic media. PEMRA and Ministry of Broadcasting and Information have been working on this since quite some time, but many publications are still glorifying terrorists. More strict actions need to be taken by the authorities.

Internet Space

Like everyone else extremists use internet space too; however Cybercrime bill came was passed to tackle this. Human right activists voiced major concerns in the Cybercrime bill it has got a go ahead from official quarters. With the help of cybercrime bill numerous accounts and sites were blocked. But still there are pages and accounts fanning extremism and sectarianism on social media.

FATA and refugees

Till now FATA Reforms are only on paper and no concrete activity can be seen on ground. The repatriation of Afghan Refugees in Pakistan was to be done by December 2016.

Balochistan and Karachi operation:

Balochistan has seen many development projects; a large number of outlaws have surrendered and are in rehabilitation. Dialogues have been initiated with exiled Baloch leaders. While Karachi operation is progressing and a significant change can be seen in these areas according NACTA statistics.

Sectarianism

There is no end to the sectarianism as it started around the 80’s but in 2014 the figures went as high has 176 incidents however after NAP reports by NACTA show that in 2016 only 19 incidents occurred. But there is a lot to be done as lessening of numbers does not mean that the mindset has changed.

Lt Gen (Retd) Ghulam Mustafa a Defense and Political Analyst for his views, he opined that’ “Anything made in haste does not give the desired results. NAP was made in an urgency to calm the public down. Armed Forces have played a major role in NAP but what about other institutions?” he said.

Jibran Nasir a Social activist and a Lawyer said, “That there is no effective body to implement NAP explains the status of NAP. The Interior Ministry gives insane numbers in terms of arrests and death of terrorists but no action is taken against banned organizations. Hate speech has not lessened, intensity of terrorist attacks has increased. We should not mix Zarb e Azb and NAP. Also the so called ‘shrine’ of Mumtaz Qadri and Forced Conversion Bill taken back by Sindh Assembly due to religious elements shows NAP’s standing.”

PTI MPA Punjab Assembly Sadia Sohail spoke to The Nation; “Our forces have played a very positive role in implementing NAP but we have witnessed lack of political will from the civil sector. After APS we should have learnt a lesson but unfortunately we did not. Quetta report revealed a number of shortcomings that the government is not ready to accept. Hate speech has not been tackled especially in Punjab.”

Gohar Aftab a Social Activist and Co-founder of CFX comics said, “Education can plays an important role in eliminating extremism but it will take time. Just trying to curb hate speech and literature will not help until educational institutions are reformed. There is enough hate material in our curricula to distort the mindset of a child for all times to come. NAP should focus on this aspect as well.”

Pakistan got into this state soon after Prime Minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto passed the Second Amendment to the Constitution under pressure of the religious elements.  General Zia ul Haq hammered the last nail in the coffin and till 16 December 2014 everyone silently bore the pain. On that dreadful day the people of Pakistan were one in their resolve to not let terrorism survive; little did they know that implementation of NAP will be lost in the haze of politics. The Army has done the maximum it could however the Government is failing in its role. Until and unless the Government shoulders the responsibility, Pakistan will continue picking up dead bodies for a long time to come.