Formation of counter-terror working group under consideration

Updated December 19, 2014

Email

Pakistani soldiers enter the army-run school which was attacked by Taliban militants in Peshawar on December 19, 2014. – AFP
Pakistani soldiers enter the army-run school which was attacked by Taliban militants in Peshawar on December 19, 2014. – AFP

ISLAMABAD: The first meeting of newly formed Anti-Terrorism National Action Plan Committee (ATNAPC), consisting of representatives of political parties and officials of armed forces and intelligence agencies, is underway on Friday to thrash out a ‘national action plan’ to counter terrorism.

Speaking to Dawn.com, Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) leader Arif Alvi said that his party would suggest formation of a working group consisted of counter-terror experts. Heads of concerned intelligence agencies should be part of the working group, he suggested.

Alvi said that the law enforcers would need to be more vigilant around religious seminaries. “There is a need to correct our collective narrative on terrorism,” he added.

Also read: Special courts being established for terror trials, says Khawaja Asif

Senator Rehman Malik said that recommendations coming out of the action plan committee should be translated into legislation. He said nothing worse can happen than what has happened in Peshawar.

The PPP leader said that there were no good or bad Taliban but all were Zaliman (tyrants). “We have lost tens of thousands of our people and Mullah Fazlullah (TTP chief) was receiving felicitations in Afghanistan.”

Almost all parliamentary political parties are represented in the committee, which was announced by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif at the conclusion of the Multi-Party Conference (MPC) held in Peshawar on Wednesday, a day after a savage Taliban attack on the Army Public School left nearly 150 dead and hundreds injured.

Read: No distinction now between good and bad Taliban: Nawaz

Rehman Malik and Qamar Zaman Kaira of PPP, Afrasiyab Khattak of ANP, Ijazul Haq of PML-Z, Sheikh Rasheed Ahmed of AML, Shireen Mazari of PTI, Mushahid Hussain Sayed of PML-Q, Dr Farooq Sattar and Babar Ghauri of MQM, Aftab Ahmed Khan Sherpao QWP, Shahibzada Tariqullah and Dr Farid Paracha of Jamaat-i-Islami and Akram Durrani of JUI-F among others are part of the committee.

Special advisors to the PM Chaudhry Zaheer and Barrister Zafarullah are also attending the meeting, headed by Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan.

Although the tragedy catalysed the coming together of leaders from across the political spectrum, some parties are going into the committee meeting without too many expectations.

“Look at the composition. Most of the people in the committee appear to be Taliban apologists. What can you expect from it?” commented a member of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM).

Talking to Dawn on condition of anonymity, the MQM leader said that given the body language of leaders of other parties that were sympathetic towards militants, there did not look to be much hope.

However, he said their party would sincerely present its viewpoint so that the country could move towards ridding itself of the scourge of extremism and terrorism.

Know more: Zero tolerance for terror, Nawaz, Raheel decide