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Counter-terrorism strategy to be ready by 13th

Updated August 09, 2013

ISLAMABAD, Aug 8: The first-ever counter-terrorism strategy will be ready by August 13, a senior official of the interior ministry told Dawn.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif directed Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan, who called on him here on Thursday, to present the final draft of the ‘national counter-terrorism and extremism policy’ to him on August 13.

The draft of the strategy was formulated in June, but it was found that it needs improvement.

The proposed strategy advises the government to use jailed terrorists and former militants for opening a dialogue with terror groups which are ready to give up violence.

Under the strategy, the government would move from “mono-faceted ap-proach” that relied exclusively on the use of force to a more comprehensive strategy which would address all facets of the issue.

The prime minister is expected to share the strategy’s blueprint with national leaders at a multi-party conference to be held next month in order to develop a national consensus on the challenges posed by militancy and extremism to national security.

Under the proposed strategy, the National Counter Terrorism Authority will play the role of a “national coordinator” which will execute and monitor the new policy.

It proposes that civilian follow-up should pave way for withdrawal of military personnel from the cleared areas, beefing up security of infrastructure, improved emergency response in the event of terrorist attacks, victim management, speedy justice, revision of curricula and a review of the foreign policy, particularly relations with neighbouring countries.

On dialogue with the militants, the proposed strategy suggests a dialogue with jihadi organisations that were ready to renounce violence.