ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Tuesday issued directions to immediately establish a National Intelligence Directorate under National Counter-Terrorism Authority (Nacta) in a bid to strengthen coordination between military and civilian agencies.
During the high-level meeting which was also attended by Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan, Army chief General Raheel Sharif, ISI chief Lt-Gen Zahirul Islam and all provincial chief ministers, the prime minister also approved the establishment of rapid-response forces at the federal and provincial levels with quality and trained manpower.
Sharif gave these directives after reviewing the newly legislated legal framework dealing with counter-terrorism.
The Pakistan Muslim League – Nawaz (PML-N) led government had recently unveiled its new security policy, which envisaged the setting up of a directorate of internal security to oversee and ensure coordination of 33 civil and military intelligence agencies.
The directorate is proposed to have an intelligence and analysis centre comprising four intelligence groups replicating ISI, Military Intelligence, federal law-enforcement agencies and police intelligence departments.
During Tuesday’s meeting, the premier also reviewed at length the capacities of federal and provincial law enforcement agencies.
The prime minister said that provinces should work to ensure admissible evidence and efficient prosecution in heinous offenses within time limits.
“The Prime Minister said the provincial governments and institutions had to work hard to contribute and establish a secure environment by eliminating terrorism as economic prosperity was linked with security and peace in the country,” said a statement from the prime minister's office.
Sharif also ordered establishment of high security prisons in all provinces on a fast-track basis.
He said that the provinces should utilise options available in the existing Protection of Pakistan Ordinance as the law has made electronic evidence admissible, allowed for video-link trial with provision for transfer of trials and prisoners to other provinces and preventive detention of enemy aliens.
Later, the prime minister handed over bomb disposal response vehicles (BDRV) to chief ministers of all four provinces.
The vehicles are equipped with the latest technology to defuse the bombs and improvised explosive devices (IEDs).
The meeting was also attended by Chief of General Staff Lt. Gen Ashfaq Ahmad Nadeem, DG (MO) Major General Amir Riaz, and all chief secretaries, inspector-generals, and other top government officials.
The DG Military Operations, deputy Director General of ISI and the interior minister briefed the meeting on different aspects of internal security issues.